Client brief:

The brief was for a sustainable building that could be used for a variety of uses long term.

Our solution:

The studio is built on nine concrete pads off the earth. This is a lightweight framed construction with cantilevered end bays and we avoided pouring large volumes of concrete into the ground.

The structure and walling is all timber, with larch boarding and timber shingle roof externally. A fully glazed bay window lights the studio and a corresponding lantern sits on the apex to bring diffused light into the studio space. A high level of natural light means the use of artificial lighting is mainly restricted to late afternoons in winter

The envelope is highly insulated with fixed glazing and tall ventilating panels at each corner. Heating is provided by a wood burning stove with a log store situated in the garden.

To counter heat gain in summer in this lightweight building is layered with vertical sliding brise soleil screens, a colonnade supporting horizontal slats at high level and further timber slats over the lantern. Climbing plants are set to provide further shade in the summer months.

The result is a building built of and heated using renewable materials. It is a wonderful working space, the interior is lofty, well lit, and the exterior has weathered to become part of the setting.
The Studio won two RIBA regional awards in 2014.

  • Project Award
  • Best Small Project Award

What the judges said:

The judges noted that the building had been carefully crafted and built, but with great consideration given to its everyday use: ‘the most appealing aspect of the scheme is its casual simplicity and effortless charm’. Built on a small plot it is ‘a beautiful example of calm, enjoyable architecture’.