Hobbit House

An avid and serious collector of J.R.R. Tolkien books, manuscripts and artifacts, this client desired a cottage-like setting based on Tolkien’s writings and imagery of a home for a Hobbit. Located in the countryside near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this “cottage” like structure was built for the display and archives for the owner’s valuable collection in an environment that will protect the material while providing a quiet sanctuary for solitude and contemplation. Construction of the 600 SF Hobbit House began in the fall of 2004 and was completed in the summer of 2005. The design incorporates many principal features such as hand-made clay roof tiles, a 54” diameter Spanish cedar door with hand-forged single pivot hinge, custom “butterfly window,” Douglas fir timber framing, custom designed antique light fixtures, traditional casework and many other fanciful interior details. The structure is located a short walk from the main house and is used as a place to truly enjoy and experience the collection in a setting appropriate to the art and history it holds.

Unusual Features & Design Challenges
The program was to create a small building to house the owner’s collection in a space that fostered a feeling of history and tradition of both the site and the housed collection. The siting of the structure was the key component to incorporate the cottage into the property. The front facade was built into an existing fieldstone dry stacked wall dating back to the 18th century, which runs through the property. Utilizing stone from a derelict portion of the wall that had been buried in the woods allows the building to quite literally grow out of the site. The exterior stonewalls carry a timber frame structure expressed both on the inside and on the rafter tail details and entrance canopy on the outside.

The “butterfly window” was arrived at through some of the written descriptions by Tolkien and the desire to frame a beautiful view into the woods. The “eyebrow” over the window was crafted to blend the beautiful materials and forms of wall, window, and roof.

While only 600 SF of space inside, thought and care was given to create an environment that surrounds the user in the collection and still gives an experience of space and comfort in a new but very traditionally detailed room.
Hobbit House - front view
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“low profile, backed into the hill” — srwray
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“Sunken house” — wickedalchemist
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“Rustic” — kwestmiller
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“large stone wall” — helpmewiththeusername
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“Like these windows and rock facade” — bgirlsully
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“Garden” — sursel
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“Center garden with birdbath” — susieqmort
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“The mortar work w/ tile pieces around window.” — Abilene Decorative Concrete Werks, Inc.
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“Lovely....” — davisblack
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“tile” — shy12345
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“Cute little bridge” — Beaker Lab Rat
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“Hobbit House” — Rebecca
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“LotR” — noratveit
Hobbit House
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Tom Crane Photography
“Beautiful windows” — Beaker Lab Rat
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“wrought iron hinge” — Melanie Sereni-Basso
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“Hobbit Door” — renmansteve
Hobbit House
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“gondor shield” — aaporter
Hobbit House
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“case windows, arched timbers, chandelier and wood floor” — srwray
Hobbit House
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Photographer: Angle Eye Photography
“Interesting and homey” — 3401550
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