The client, John Graham, an artist based in Dublin, required a new studio space at the end of his garden. Due to the format of his work he needed to be able to lay it out and observe from a height. This was the premise from which the design emerged.
The building is set back from the lane to form a garden; a threshold and buffer zone between the private working area and the public passage. The studio mediates between two new outdoor rooms – patio and garden. The studio consists of a 5x5m singular room which adheres to local planning exemptions and economic restrictions. The two gable walls re-establish the width of the plot. The finished floor level is sunken by 750mm below ground level to register with the working datum of the desks, upon which the client lays large canvases. The works in progress, formerly assessed by standing up on a chair or laying down the work on the floor can now be viewed standing at “ground level”. The ceiling is of a modest height at entrance level (2.4m), and increases gradually when descending to the centre of the room (to 3.15m).
Board-marked concrete was poured for the walls, floor and roof to form a textured cube. The materiality of the room is underscored by two huge strip roof lights oriented north-south and mark the passage of the light throughout the day on the walls. A folding polished concrete ribbon runs around the room, up and down, making at times steps, desks and even a day bed before returning to the original datum. Externally, the concrete has a sand blasted finish; a softer, smoother finish that contrasts with the opulent internal texture.
The space is introverted, quiet and peaceful. Visual connections to the external surroundings are limited and occur only when seated. When in a working position, the long low strip windows allow light to pour in and open up to the surrounding landscape while, at the same time, offering a continuous wall space for hanging large artworks.
Text provided by Architecture Republic.