Williams Studio (2007) by gh3 located in Ennismore, Canada | The Hardt
Williams Studio (2007) by gh3 located in Ennismore, Canada. The 1,800 ft² (167 m²) is a photographer’s studio over a boathouse on Stony Lake is a re-imagination of the archetypal glass house in a landscape in the Canadian Shield. A continuation of thinking about this architectural ambition, the central concept of the house is reconceived through a contemporary lens of sustainability, program, site, and amenity. The compelling qualities of simple, open spaces; interior and exterior unity and material clarity are transformed to enhance the environmental and programmatic performance of the building, creating the architecture of both iconic resonance and innovative context-driven design. The program envisions a building as north–facing window: a photographer’s live/work studio and film location that is continuously bathed in diffuse and undiminished natural light. The transparent facade—a curtain wall glazed in low-iron glass—becomes the essential element in a photographic apparatus to produce images unobtainable in a conventional studio. The availability and fidelity of north–facing light in the double-height space provide the photographer with unparalleled natural illumination, while the clarity of the glazing transforms the site and surrounding vistas into a sublime, ever-changing backdrop.
The compact glass form sits at the water’s edge on a granite plinth whose matte black facade dematerializes to suspend the building, lantern-like, on the site. The granite’s thermal mass exploits the abundant solar input, eliminating the need for active systems on winter days, while the lakefront site allows the use of a deep-water exchange to heat and cool the building year-round through radiant slabs and recessed perimeter louvers at the floor and ceiling. Sliding panes in the glass skin—three meters wide at the ground floor, and one and a half meters wide on the mezzanine floor—allow the facade to become completely porous for natural ventilation, while an individually automated blind system, white roof, and deciduous hedgerow guard against excessive solar gain. The continuous blind system additionally serves as a second aesthetic skin, transforming the interior into an enclosed, intimate space, and the exterior into a gently reflective mirror of the surroundings.
Entry into the site is facilitated through a minimalist landscape that deploys endogenous materials while leaving the greatest portion of the site in its evocative, glacier-scoured state. A simple granite plinth serves as a threshold for the south-facing entrance, where solid program functions and vertical circulation are arranged in a narrow, efficient volume. From the outset, the goal was to accommodate the client’s needs within a small footprint. Domestic functions are integrated into a furniture-like mezzanine assembly suspended above the main space, where bedroom, bathroom, and closet are coextensive, and sliding fritted glass allows the whole to be concealed from the rest of the space. Throughout the upper and lower levels, interior partitions are clad with seamless white lacquered panels whose reflective qualities diffuse light into every part of the interior and create complex layered views through space. Set to be built in the spring of 2010, a lightweight aluminum curvilinear structure guarded by the low-iron glass will be constructed at level with the house. This freestanding structure will serve as an outdoor living platform.
Located in Singapore, The Niven Road Studio by Wow Architects | The Hardt
Located in Singapore, The Niven Road Studio by Wow Architects. The Niven Road Studio is a historic secondary settlement conservation site where the existing 2 story building is conserved with a tall rear extension comprising a Basement, Three Stories, and an Attic. The tall rear extension provides a new back entrance at the hilltop while the main entrance remains on the fully preserved front façade facing the heritage street at ground level. The conservation strategy of juxtaposing old and new develops the project into a 21st-century heritage building. Designed for minimum visual impact from the heritage street, the rear extension comprises three levels of double height space screened from the East and West sun by deep vertical fins. Today, Niven Road’s memorable days are a nearly forgotten reality as its public institutions have moved away, been demolished or closed down over the past decades. Yet hope is not lost as with change come opportunities for a community to evolve.
Antivilla by Brandlhuber+ Emde, Schneider situated in Rotkehlchenweg, Potsdam, Germany | The Hardt
Antivilla by Brandlhuber+ Emde, Schneider situated in Rotkehlchenweg, Potsdam, Germany. Antivilla, the refurbished former German Democratic Republic lingerie factory “Ernst Lück“ at the Krampnitzsee, southwest of Berlin, questions the relationship between building regulations and standards, energy efficiency together with the idea re-use and adaptive living. Built between 2010 and 2014 Brandlhuber+ together with Pichler engineers developed a combined living and studio building with a new approach.
Instead of insulating the existing structure and to save costs, the façade was covered with shotcrete. To generate an open space all non-bearing walls were removed and a functional 20 square meter core with the staircase, bathroom, kitchenette, fireplace as well a sauna were installed in the center of both floors. Space can be zoned by simple transparent PVC curtains according to the actual climate needs. In the summertime, the curtains are retreated only to a 10 square meter bedroom in the 230 square meters open loft space, while in winter the heated area makes only 60 square meters of the whole floor area which includes moving the bed closer to the open fire.
The gable roof, made of corrugated asbestos plates, was removed and replaced by a flat concrete slab that structurally allowed big openings in the walls. These, up to five meters, large windows on the north and south facade, are the result of the collective work by friends hammering away the wall to create big openings which provide a scenic view over the nearby lake.
House for a Photographer (2017) by Kouichi Kimura Architects located in Japan| The Hardt
House for a Photographer (2017) by Kouichi Kimura Architects located in Japan. The building is used as a studio and a gallery of the photographer work. It is also his residence. The client requested to unite the studio where he produces works with his living space. Thus, the architect came up with an optimum plan by clarifying how the resident wants to live instead of segmenting the space by function.
The site is located along an arterial road that runs through the countryside. In the neighborhood stand private residences and a grove of the village shrine surrounding a passage to the shrine. The building is made of mortar and galvanized steel sheet which reflects dull light, making it look massive. It is laid out to be accommodated within the L-shaped lot and stands to face the shrine on the opposite side. The dim passage from the entrance approach invites visitors into the innermost space while guiding them with light thrown from the ceiling of the connected gallery. The gallery clips out a landscape with the opening to look like an exhibition. Its contrasted scale and natural light resonate with each other.
The space that quietly inspires a feeling of exaltation in ordinary life, which also plays the role of the photogenic shooting location. The long thin passage serving as an alley to go around the gallery has other functions than a mere pathway; it is also used as a space to post artworks and photos on the wall. It is beautifully themed with sight switching, different ceiling heights, and shade and shadow created by natural light. The hall that is located at the center of the building with different floor levels plays a role of a hub which connects with each space. It also incorporates plumbing equipment, a counter, and a staircase that are necessary for living, and is connected to an approach from the courtyard, thus not only providing functional comfort but also displaying scenic beauty.
The building being used as a living space also offers a dynamic space with proportion and scale that allow it to serve as a photo studio. The light coming through the high-side light envelops the room, enabling photo-shooting with natural light. Photo shooting equipment, vintage furniture, musical instrument, and artworks are placed here and there, blending in with space. It acts in concert with the photographer’s feeling and aesthetic and acts as the base to produce new creativity and activities.