Structural EngineerErnst Mader, Markus Flatz
From the architect. This small studio for drawing, painting and sculpture acts as a visual device itself by bidirectionally framing its surroundings.
To the southeast a great amount of daylight enters through tilted glazing. To block direct sun if desired and to enable the modulation of light and climatic conditions exterior screens are deployed. To the northwest a system of frames is installed which enable bronze sculptures to be suspended in front of the glass and in direct sight of the working artist. In that spot the bronze sculptures receive their natural patina while being staged as a motive of reflection and confrontation for the artist.
The building features two separate levels which serve different functions. The upper level is designed to be a workplace where most of the sketches and small water colours are done while on the lower level medium sized canvases and small sculptures will be produced.
The semi-industrial character of the project stems from the reference to the typology of the shed roof factory. Here this typology is being reduced to its simplest case – a single box with a single skylight.
The use of raw and untreated materials contributes to the character of a workshop. The facade panels are made from weathering steel while the interior surfaces are made from raw concrete, raw steel and untreated oak.
The final configuration of the project remains determined by site conditions as it is fitted into the plot boundaries while negotiating a desired minimal disturbance of the neighbouring residential building, height restriction and the hillside situation with certain requirements of floor area and ceiling height.
On an underlying conceptual level the design is inspired by an ancient optical device – the camera lucida. On the one hand it is very literally a bright chamber - constructed to achieve good light conditions which can be modulated to desired levels. At the same time the studio itself acts as an optical framing device similar to the original function of the camera lucida as a drawing aid.