Inside the Hobbit House
Appreciating a modern-day cottage based on mythical literature
Asked to design a fitting repository for a client’s valuable collection of J.R.R. Tolkien manuscripts and artifacts, architect Peter Archer went to the source—the fantasy novels that describe the abodes of the diminutive Hobbits.
“I came back my client and said, ‘I’m not going to make this look like Hollywood,’” Archer recalled, choosing to focus instead on a finely-crafted structure embodying a sense of history and tradition.
The site was critical too—and Archer found the perfect one a short walk away from his client’s main house, where an 18th-century dry-laid wall ran through the property. “I thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful to build the structure into the wall?”
Not only did the wall anchor the cottage, but stones from another section were used in the cottages construction. “It literally grew out of the site,” Archer said.
Perhaps stranger things have happened in Tolkien’s world, but few houses in this one go to such lengths to capture a fictional fantasy in the context of architecture. Here are some details.
Archer & Buchanan Ltd.
West Chester, PA
Richard Owens Construction
Chester County, PA
Custom doors and windows:
Premium Grade Cabinetry Inc.
Michael M. Coldren Co, Inc.
North East, MD
Photo credit: Courtesy of Peter Archer, except where noted.