“There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.”
-H. Melville, Moby Dick
Melville composed Moby Dick from his second story study at Arrowhead, looking out a window that framed Mt. Greylock and his imagination of a world beyond.
In Moby Dick, Melville describes these opposing conditions as the port and the gale, in which the port represents the safe space of domesticity, and the gale the natural world at the mercy of the elements, unmoored from civilization.
The design for the Melville studio explores the relationship between the intimate and the immense through two portals in a fragment of a farmhouse. One opens to the sky, leaving the inhabitant exposed to the elements, yet protected on all four sides, while the other offers the shelter of a roof, opening out onto the vast horizon.