Nestled on the lawn near Strathmore Mansion, the Crib looks like a large birdhouse. But the only thing hatching inside this house will be art.
Created by the Rockville-based architectural firm Broadhurst Architects, the Crib is an environmentally friendly prototype kit house that will serve as a studio for Strathmore’s Fine Artists in Residence program.
With a footprint of less than 400 square feet, the one-room crib is set up as a living room with a loft bedroom, fold-out office, and clear garage door that opens to an outdoor patio overlooking Strathmore Music Center in North Bethesda.
“As guests enter I hope what they will see is a space that they can identify with,” creator Jeffery Broadhurst said. “There is something about the scale and the appearance of the Crib as you approach it that is very comfortable. It’s almost like a child’s drawing of a house.”
One of the first artists to use the Crib as a studio will be installation artist Wilmer Wilson IV of Richmond, Va. Wilson and the three others who applied for Strathmore’s six-month artist in residence program will alternate using the Crib this summer to create and display their work.
“It’s so compact and so efficient, and that is so inspiring to me as a installation artist because I aim to make work that compliments spaces,” he said. “So with an interesting space like this I feel like I have a multitude of possibilities to make work that feels good in this space.”
Strathmore President Monica Jeffries Hazangeles said that it is a first for Strathmore to have an indoor-outdoor space where anyone can wander in and watch artists while they work.
“It fits with our mission this year to focus on our outdoor landscape, our outdoor sculpture, so being green and having a green initiative on site feeds into that nicely,” she said.
Valued at $120,000, the Crib is expected to remain at Strathmore for two years, Jeffries Hazangeles said. Besides assisting with wiring, Strathmore did not incur any construction costs.
The Crib will open to the public at 5:30 p.m. June 22, in conjunction with Strathmore’s first free outdoor summer concert.