Substance Architecture

Deployable Smocked Porch

Winterset, Iowa

This small, hand-made space was conceived as a Deployable Smocked Porch. Deployable because it is small enough to be moved once it is made; Smocked, due to the embroidery technique utilized to pleat and sew the layers of insect screening together; and a Porch, referring to the archetypal space that is created – both inside and outside. A simple wooden frame defines the small space and supports two porch swings. The smocked screening creates curtains that can be opened and closed to allow access, as well as provide shade and enclosure. A rectangular opening in the roof allows a defined shaft of daylight to enter the space. This opening is echoed in the small turf area cut into the floor. The project was designed and constructed adjacent to the courthouse square in Winterset, Iowa as a pro bono effort to support The Iowa Preservation Alliance. The wood was salvaged from a demolished home, and the labor to sew, fabricate, and construct the space were provided by the design team. As a result, the budget for the project was $900 (screen material, fasteners, and cross-bracing).

Paul Crosby


Excellence in Design - Merit Award, 2020
American Institute of Architects - Central States Region

Honorable Mention Award of Excellence in Craft, 2019
American Institute of Architects - Iowa Chapter

Best of Year - Budget, 2016
Interior Design

Small Project Award, 2016
American Institute of Architects - National

Design Award - Accessory Building/Outdoor, 2016
Custom Home/Builder


Iowa Architect, Winter 2021
Iowa Architect, Winter 2020
Iowa Architect, Winter 2017
Interior Design, December 2016
Builder, September 2016
Iowa Architect, Fall 2016

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