Douglas Forrest Architects has designed an unusual studio and home for an artist beside the River Tay in Perthshire.
The client wanted the main studio to be a very private space with no wall openings, yet plenty of natural light to paint by - posing a conundrum for the architect. The solution has been to divide the building into two parts: a south studio block, and an adjoining smaller accommodation block to the north. Light has been brought into the 'blind' 5m-high studio in several ways: the walls are constructed of translucent Kalwall relieved by a screen of solid local Shierglas stone in the external south wall, to give visual solidity and include an element of vernacular architecture; storage cupboards in the studio stop short of the ceiling, leaving a clerestory of Kalwall above and, finally, two large glazed rooflight cubes supplement light penetration through the walls.
The north-facing accommodation area, with bedroom above, and kitchen below - as well as a small pottery - opens on to a timber deck. Here, glazed openings in an aluminium framing system alternate with bright-blue render and a central entrance panel in American oak. Finishes inside the house are plain white-painted plaster and mdf, with Norwegian birch-faced ply on doors.
The client demanded a high level of artificial lighting. Suspended tracks are fitted with up- and down-facing spotlights for task lighting, and ceiling-mounted halogen downlighters provide ample ambient light. The house has underfloor heating.
ARCHITECT Douglas Forrest Architects: Douglas Forrest, Gregor Small
QUANTITY SURVEYOR Baxter Dunn & Grey
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Ove Arup & Partners
MAIN CONTRACTOR David Beveridge
CONTRACT VALUE £350,000
stone Shierglas Quarries, Kalwall Stoakes Systems, Planar glass Pilkington, windows Nor-Dan, roof membrane Sarnafil, flooring Tarquett, underfloor heating Thermoboard, lighting Wever & Ducre