Luscious Artist Studio in Sonoma with Indoor Garden by Mork-Ulnes Architects | Yellowtrace

Luscious Artist Studio in Sonoma with Indoor Garden by Mork-Ulnes Architects | Yellowtrace

Luscious Artist Studio in Sonoma with Indoor Garden by Mork-Ulnes Architects | Yellowtrace

Luscious Artist Studio in Sonoma with Indoor Garden by Mork-Ulnes Architects | Yellowtrace

 

For an Architect, this is definitely a contender for dream commission: Two artists desire a modern interpretation of a barn to house their studio and vast collection of curiosities within the stunning Californian wine region (or shall I say, for me personally it’s the dream anyway!). Throw some Casper Scandinavian charm into the mix and the result is the jaw-dropping Artist Studio in Sonoma.

Originally, the project was intended to be a refurbishment of an existing barn structure but evolved into a start-from-scratch approach once that was deemed to be unsalvageable. As a nod to its predecessor, the main building utilises the same site footprint and its form is essentially an inversion, taking the roof line and adapting this to maximise the potential for the new space. The inverted pitch is not only a striking external feature but also allows a better daylighting strategy as the building makes the most of the sunny climate and natural light floods the internal studio.

Mork-Ulnes is a name to look out for, if you are not already familiar with the work coming out of the practice. Although the studio is based in California, the company founder is a Norwegian native and has received accolades from both sides of the Atlantic, named ‘California’s finest emerging talent’ by the AIA in 2015 and also recognised in the ‘Under 40: Young Norwegian Architecture 2013’ exhibit. The praise is well deserved as they continue to deliver work that is so effortlessly cool.

 

Luscious Artist Studio in Sonoma with Indoor Garden by Mork-Ulnes Architects | Yellowtrace

Luscious Artist Studio in Sonoma with Indoor Garden by Mork-Ulnes Architects | Yellowtrace

Luscious Artist Studio in Sonoma with Indoor Garden by Mork-Ulnes Architects | Yellowtrace

Luscious Artist Studio in Sonoma with Indoor Garden by Mork-Ulnes Architects | Yellowtrace

Luscious Artist Studio in Sonoma with Indoor Garden by Mork-Ulnes Architects | Yellowtrace

 

Here, the Architect demonstrates their restrain and a calmness in the treatment of the timber clad building but they have allowed a playful nature to show itself in the form of the (so affectionately) self nicknamed ‘Amoeba’, which seems to organically grow from its neighbour and expand into the landscape. The architectural language contrasts sharply but the fact that these don’t seem to jar is a real demonstration of skill and a testament to the quality of the design.

Internally, the two building elements also demonstrate their personalities. The project was one that was executed on a tight budget, meaning the designers had to be savvy and thrifty in both process and materials. Elements of the original building were utilised in the construction and cost effect material choices, such as the dominant plywood, proving to be an appropriate selection and backdrop to the working studio and eclectic collections. To the ‘Amoeba’ there is a radically different approach, this takes on a life of its own, in the form of an almost zen-like meandering indoor garden area with dining and kitchen areas dotted along the journey. There is also something really beautiful in how this space invites nature in, a little perfect oasis away from the creativity of the adjoining studio.

It seems safe to say that anyone who is lucky enough to be able to call this their workspace has well and truly made it in life. We can all dream…

 

Related Post: Stories on Design // Studios & Ateliers.

 

 


[Images courtesy of . Photography by & .]

 



About The Author

Rachel Maude

Rachel is originally from the north of the England where she studied and lived for the majority of her life. After qualifying as an Architect and working in London for a number of years, she made the move to Melbourne in the search of a new adventure. Her work to date has covered a range of sectors and scales, and although a lover of all things design, her passion and expertise lay in smaller scale residential projects and seeing them through to completion. An environmentalist at heart, she has a keen interest in sustainability and minimising mankind's impact on the planet. When not fulfilling her designing duties, if the sun is shining you will find Rachel outdoors - always eager to explore new places by foot or pedal power (whilst also topping up her tan!).

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