Architects: MOS – Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample
Location: Columbia County, New York, USA
Design Team: Chad Burke, Fred Holt
Project year: 2006-2007
Constructed Area: 557 sqm
Engineering: Edward Stanley Engineers LLC
Photographs: Michael Vahrenwald
This project explores the idea of creating a space for both painting and drawing set against an intense landscape of shale cliffs, forest and ponds. Overlooking the hills of the Taconic State Park, this isolated site is one of several free standing structures making up a compound for an artist and a curator/writer. To create a space for both drawing and painting, in addition to providing for the amenities of storage, cooking, cleaning, and reading, posed the problem of how to achieve extreme openness in order to move freely between the mediums of painting and drawing. The design focuses on constructing an open space from painting to drawing uninterrupted by structure. This dictated the design of the structural system and enabled a column free interior with moment frames on each end that would serve as external porches and viewing spaces between nature and the built environment.
A uniform surface of zinc panels clad the facades and roof of the studio. The structural innovation enables the ends to be completely open full height glass walls with expansive views towards the landscape. An articulated lighting pattern skims over the ceiling creating an even glowing surface that is not harsh and provides soft atmospheric light for painting and drawing at night. A gray box sits centrally contains the kitchen, archives and washroom. It opens and closes to reveal storage and archives, flat files, and an essential library. The panels slide smoothly by pulling on a custom milled door handles. The concrete flooring is scored with a geometric pattern extending the lines from the parallelogram plan shape. A shale perimeter rings the studio creating a transition from inside to out registering the transition from the natural surroundings to the interior creative world.