When commissioned to design a place worthy of housing an extensive collection of J.R.R. Tolkien manuscripts and artifacts, an architect could easily go overboard and make a farcical movie set out of such an assignment. Instead, Peter Archer focused on the fine craft, beautiful materials and traditional construction implied by the original Hobbit-related novels.


Existing stones on the site from an aged rock wall were appropriated for use in the new structure. Custom-crafted round wooden doors add to the authenticity of the design but are also an example of the balance between fantasy and reality, with structural requirements dictating the thickness a door could be and the strength of the steel required to hinge it on a single point.

Custom patterns are etched in various places, adding to the sense of a hand-crafted approach applied to the entire building project. The end result is a fantastically rich and complex design blending modern materials and practices with traditional ones and balancing between the fictional world of the project’s inspiration with extant design styles throughout history.