The first point of reference

This weekend I am working on some sketches of the study carrol, which I might refer to simply as the St Jerome from now on. The first seed of this idea, of a tiny space dedicated to writing, came from a 2001 visit to Rhinestein Castle, above the middle Rhine in Germany. The castle was charming enough in its way, and possessed a fairy-tale quality - at least it did to this ex-suburban Brisbane boy at large in the world. The moment of clarity came when I entered the small room within the narrow tower shown at the left of the image below.

The room just beneath the battlements is a tiny circular chamber,  accessed by a thick timber door from the terrace, positioned beneath the steep little iron stair that takes you up onto the battlement proper. The room contained a writing desk and a chair, and it had small lead-lined windows looking out and down to the River. I opened one, and saw some boats steaming along in the current many hundreds of feet below. The room felt suspended in mid air, between heaven and earth, and its austerity and simplicity impressed themselves upon me. Apparently Kaiser Wilhelm II had used that very room to write in, and while he is not my favourite historical personage I cannot fault his taste in 'perches' for writing. Overlooking the Rhine placed the room on one of the principal arteries of industry and trade, and one of the signature natural features of Germany. The castle behind provided a psychological security, and yet the room itself was tiny.

Basically, I want one.