La Maison deVolette

201 Ruskin Place

Alexander Gorlin

La Maison deVolette

Project Description

This townhouse, built in 1995, was the last townhouse Gorlin designed for Seaside to date. Its design took its inspiration from a source completely different from any of Gorlin’s other projects in Seaside: New Orleans French Quarter vernacular. Taking a corner lot on Ruskin Place afforded a myriad of views and Gorlin took full advantage, with more windows than walls on all three facades. Tall oversize French doors framed by plantation shutters line the walls and allow the owners to fully open themselves to the light and views or to fully close themselves off from the outside. Stepped and terraced facades in the back are another shared characteristic of French architecture. A central stair provides circulation from the living floor to the private floor above; to further maximize views, the stair continues to a rooftop belvedere where a smaller spiral stair ascends to a final platform with a hot tub where one can take full advantage of a panoramic view of the city and the sea.

By Katlyn M. Springstead


Nestled in the Southeastern corner of Ruskin Place stands the Southern gem designed by Alexander Gorlin at 201 Ruskin Place. Cleverly named “Maison deVolette,” meaning “Flutter House” in French, this home closely resembles the character of the French Quarter in New Orleans. This Seaside home earns its title as the “Maison deVolette” with tall French windows and tall shutters that resemble wings, creating “fluttering façades.”

If one follows the pathway located to the right of the house, one will discover a charming transition from the serene, shaded façade facing Ruskin Place to a side elevation bathed in light. The side elevation is long with a generous display of windows allowing a deluge of Southern light into the home.

The “Maison deVolette,” constructed primarily of concrete and wood, is topped with a lovely roof terrace with hot tub. This displays just one example of the unique, yet simple, Southern charms and comforts which characterize Seaside.

By Katherine Gaston

Project Specifications

Alexander Gorlin
Building Name:
La Maison deVolette
Preferred Name:
La Maison deVolette, Barrier-Hoover Townhouse
201 Ruskin Place
Code Type:
Type III – Residential and Workshop
Building Type:
Mixed Use
Start of Construction:


Alexander Gorlin

Alexander Gorlin


Alexander Gorlin is an architect, author, critic and principal of Alexander Gorlin Architects based in New York. His work spans the spectrum from high end residential, to affordable, housing for the homeless, master planning and religious buildings. Graduate of Cooper Union and Yale, he is the recipient of the Rome Prize in Architecture where he spent a year at the American Academy in Rome.

Archive Inventory

Seaside Archives, University of Notre Dame
  • Exterior Views
  • Sketches

Exterior Views