Guy Davenport Studio: Architectural Design by Keith Plymale
Guy Davenport approached Keith Plymale, principle architect of Volume 21 Architecture, early in Plymale’s career. The architectural concepts that drive the unique designs by Volume 21 Architecture were originally developed in Kentucky, while Plymale was a key faculty member at the University of Kentucky College of Architecture. Plymale later became the head of the undergraduate program at the UK College of Architecture.
Guy Davenport Style Considerations
Guy Davenport (November 23, 1927 – January 4 2005) was a renowned writer, artist, and philosopher who lived in Lexington, KY at the time. When Keith Plymale was approached to design an ideal writing studio for Guy, he was honored. The architectural drawings, and the built studio that Plymale envisioned, were a blend of Davenport’s writings and personal style together with Plymale’s design principles.
The site of this project was a historical neighborhood in Lexington, KY. Plymale’s architectural designs always consider the surrounding neighborhood, the history of the project site, and the goals of the client. The design of this studio was focused on the following aspects:
- Guy Davenport, award winning writer’s personal aesthetic
- Remodeling an existing structure to modernize it without sacrificing its character.
- Modern elements that blend seamlessly with historical architecture
- Capturing light
- Innovative openings to outdoors, similar to Japanese architecture it some ways
- Use of color to add whimsical flair
- A backyard garden site, the final studio scale and style references the garden setting
The resulting architecture was modern and innovative, yet also contains a certain humility, not seeking to overpower the site. While the design kept historical features, it also brought modern conveniences, for example skylights nestled in the exposed roof trusses. The studio was a place where the outdoor and indoor environments could interact.