Garages are often the spaces where we feel most comfortable getting creative and productive. Their open spaces, large expanses of wall, utilitarian concrete floors and convenient large openings allow for all sorts of uses other than to just protect our cars (and our other important possessions, commonly known as "junk".)
Our client for this small project (an prominent artist that focuses mostly on oil paintings) desired to clean out her rather plain garage and turn it into a full fledged painting studio and gallery space.
It was decided to remove the existing cheap overhead garage door and replace it with two large steel and Polygal sliding barn doors instead.
This replacement not only allowed for the removal of the standard overhead tracks and opener hardware that cluttered the otherwise smooth expanse of the ceiling, but also offered up the opportunity to let in significant amounts of diffuse North light, always in demand by painters and scupltors.
After we tweak and adjust how the panels hang and slide along the track we'll install Pemko brush gaskets along the head, jambs and sills to keep the critters and air infiltration to a minimum.
Colour, pattern and rhythm have been a constant interest in the work of designSTUDIO. We are currently composing different colour and material palettes for various projects and are taking cues from past work. There has been an ongoing interest in different siding approaches working with different colours and patterns of vertical metal siding. The most recent iteration of this was in a studio addition for a Grammy winning musician living in a simple Mid-Century builder ranch (another thread that runs through our work). In that siding, a four-colour pattern, based on the chord progression of "If the House is a Rockin" marches around the building. The siding and colours are all standard issue CF-Panel "Snap-Lock" roofing materials from Mueller Metal Buildings.
To take those ideas in a different direction we are now working with a horizontal lap siding pattern composed of three widths and corresponding colours. This pattern makes for a "randomized" look as blocks of the same width of siding intersperse around the building. In reality there is a total of four block patterns (two of which are simply inverted arrangements of the previous two patterns). The overall pattern is determined by an interweaving of 4", 6" and 8" exposures of Hardi-Panel lap siding. By assigning different colours to each width, a vast array of looks and feels can be accomplished through modest means.
lightBOX is moving forward, though most of what has been going on is all behind the scenes paperwork. Materials are on their way for the construction of the house addition. The Ultra Frame wall panels from Transcon Steel should show up next week, our floor trusses and the glulam framing package will come soon after. We are also awaiting a big package from Timberlinx that will be full of all of the mechanical fasteners we'll be using to put together the exposed wall of glulam framing and then we can jump into the bit of demo on the existing house to make way for the addition. It should get really interesting really soon. Lots to do and lots to think about and lots to get ready for. The big push is on.
Over at the carport/studio, most of the exterior paint is in place. It makes a huge difference to the finished look of the place just by covering up the "primer red" of the steel and the weld joints. The colour is a wonderful dark purple-y grey. It works well with the white carport ceiling along with the grey of the metal siding. The handrails and stair structure are all to be the same colour as well. It should look great against the wood slats that will screen the top run of stairs.
The bathroom is awaiting a full width 2' tall mirror that will sit atop the tile above the sink,with a horizontal cabinet above that. That will mean that the simple circular IKEA wall fixture will sit atop the mirror. We'll also switch out the exposed PVC plumbing all plumbers seem to want to install with a good old-fashioned chrome P-trap.
non-descript builder ranch house in a close-in South Austin neighbourhood gets a decidedly modern living room addition and a minor interior update. Taking direct cues from 50's modern designs and the existing wood framed carport, the
glassed-in room spreads into the spacious backyard with a new foundation and steel framed pavilion.
Serving as a temperate weather living-room, finely attuned to the elements, large custom steel and insulated glass barn-doors roll back to open the corner of the space to the outdoors. Generous 4' overhangs protect the glass walls from mid-day heat, while the clerestory windows of the new dining area open to allow for passive ventilation.
A modest light-filled 3/4 bath does double duty as a laundry room and serves as a solid back-drop for the new top-lit dining area adjacent to the existing vintage kitchen and its stained mahogony ply cabinets. A new ovesized steel and glass pocket door opens up the brick wall around the existing back door to allow for easy entertaining and connection to the new social spaces.
The existing living room vaults up to the underside of the existing roof and allows for a new bank of North-facing clerestories to bring much needed light to the original living area of the house. The small existing bar gets shifted and expanded to a proper sized bar at the center of the new layout.
What was a rather tidy functional home in untouched condition, the simple box gets re-worked into an ambitious re-imagining and distillation of the mid-century vocabulary and in so doing, changes the way the home responds to it's direct surroundings. No longer a passive container for living, the home becomes an active participant in the life of the owner through its registering of light and shadow and its direct responses to the overall climate through the opening up of its glass walls.