Carefully situated to be distinct once on site without being overly noticeable to the street, the studio is a quiet addition that complements the architecture of the 1954 ranch house without copying it. Gable roof, extended eaves, board and batten siding, single story. Similar but different. From the house, we often catch neighborhood walkers stopping to admire the studio. The landscape was expertly designed by our friends at Bothwell Landscape Studio.
A diagonal ipe boardwalk leads to the beautiful front door, an iroko pivot door shielded from the weather in a simple alcove.
The metal roof conceals eight inches of rigid insulation as well as the gutter, creating a sharp leading edge to the triangular shape of the building.
The stained cedar changes color depending on the sun’s intensity and position: sometimes warm and light, sometimes dark and somber. Hidden beneath the cladding is an exterior insulated wall that improves the energy use in the building in all seasons.
The cladding intentionally reconsidered the common pattern of board and batten siding. We varied the batten depths to create syncopated shadow lines on the facade and broke up the apparent boards as tongue and groove, adding a hairline to catch the light. The pattern is subtle but adds complexity to the otherwise very simple detailing of the studio.
Few windows face the street or the forecourt; the building’s views open to the forest preserving privacy but allowing natural light. The desks surround the perimeter of the cathedralled studio space with the conference table centered in front of the big windows.
The interior is skylit and bright with much of the decoration and energy coming from the work that happens inside.