The Owner-Builder Network

3 Needs – Three Studios

If you work from home, you probably know how good it is to have a dedicated studio – a place to stay focused away from the everyday household distractions. In this album, there are three very different studios. The first is for a writer, the second for a sculptor and the third, is as a memorial to an artist wife.

Writer’s Studio   Upper New York State  –  Cooper Joseph Studio

This first example is designed as a one-person work and relaxation space:

The Cooper Joseph Studio - work, rest and listen
The Cooper Joseph Studio – work, rest and listen…

“This small studio is a place for one person to work, read, and listen to music. Open vistas to a pond and fields are to one side; the other side is immersed in deep woods. Each façade is composed with distinct apertures specifically arranged to the light and views, all tailored like a bespoke suit to the client’s size and eye level. The inside is uncluttered and elegant, unified by the use of walnut and black slate.

Minimalist detailing, open corners and transparency running the length of the structure challenge the simplicity of the “box”. Given harsh winters, the fireplace becomes the visual center, anchoring the asymmetrical composition with a large, richly conceived hearth. The fireplace also anchors the large cantilevered corners to either side from a structural point of view.

The studio volume is a rectilinear, restrained single-room, but the rigid orthogonal geometry of the room is juxtaposed with the dynamic sculptural designs of the furniture – a desk, a side table, and two black leather armchairs. The slat pattern of the exterior extends to the interior further blurring the interface between inside and nature.

The outside shell is all cedar with a matte black stain – the same surface treatment for the flat broader, horizontal boards and the highly textured thinner slats. Each was precisely laid and mitered at the corner for added sculptural affect. Copper trim and scuppers accent the black form of the studio.”

Polygon Studio Lake George NY  –  Jefferey Poss and WORKUS Studio

This next example is both a workspace and occasional guest accommodation.

Polygon Studio - work and guest accomodation
Polygon Studio – work and guest accommodation

“The owners of a steep lakefront property wanted a small studio for making sculpture and accommodating guests. The form reflects these two functions.

The studio is at the highest point of the property, along an access road that forms the western boundary. It is at the pinnacle of the site, with tree-filtered views of Lake George, 130 steps above the water’s edge. On the ground floor is a vertical light-filled space and service zone tucked under the loft. The guest loft above forms its own gabled volume and pronounced deck. The result is a series of very distinct yet interconnected spaces.

The exterior cladding references Adirondack rural vernacular and helps emphasize the spatial conception. Galvanized steel siding wraps the gables and north end. Vertical planks of local red cedar cover the polygonal east and west sides. The cedar is reintroduced on the interior to create a warm and aromatic environment. “

Arrow Studio  Hanging Rock  NSW  Australia  –  PHTR Architects

This third and final example is a memorial art gallery that any artist would envy – both as a work and display space:

Art remembered - Hanging Rock NSW Australia
Art remembered – Hanging Rock NSW Australia

“Our brief was to build a small gallery in the back yard, facing the bush, where our client could hang his late wife’s paintings. The gallery would also be used as a study/studio. For security reasons, as well as to maximize hanging space, we were asked to have minimal windows, and for those windows to be framed in a way that intruders could not break in. This became the generator of the shape, which hides the windows behind the screened areas at each end (arrow head, or rotated gables, as the builders referred to them).

The budget, not much more than an off-the-shelf garden shed with slab, was of prime importance, and could not be exceeded. All walls are plywood, which braces the structure and replaces plasterboard on the inside. The galvanised sheets overlapped diagonally form a second skin which helps insulate and protects the ply from the harsh conditions. The roof is an off-the-shelf, all-in-one insulated roofing system (incorporating roofing, insulation and ceiling).

The space between the gallery and the house (an old brick veneer) has become a protected outdoor entertaining area, while on the other side the gallery forms a backdrop for BBQs with a bush setting. At night the room acts as a giant lantern, illuminating the bush garden.”

The project was an excuse to do a variation on the modern white cube so often associated with the gallery space. We were also interested in rethinking the Australian steel clad country shed.

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