Studio No. 1, Photographer’s Studio

Project

Studio No. 1, Photographer's Studio

Location

Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, New York

Client

Dan Estabrook

Type

Artist's Studio

Year

2011

Replacing a deteriorating structure attached to a small townhouse in Brooklyn, the program entails a creating a working studio space for a photographer with particular requirements. Though counterintuitive to the way most photographer’s work, the client requested as much daylight as possible, which aids in the processing of the 18th century paper and salt printing techniques he favors.

With this mandate for daylight, a square volume is cut and raised in section, creating a large north-facing clerestory within the studio space and a new roof deck/ garden accessible from the second level of the existing townhouse.

The new space is defined by a heavy timber frame constructed of reclaimed beams and joists infilled with a 2×8 space frame/ lattice system allowing for greater spans, adding a layer of visual texture to the otherwise hard-edge space. The frame also serves as a conceptual separation between the ruin of the existing brick wall and the new construction. Details throughout the project are direct and unapologetic, with the exposed brick, steel angle and wood frame.

The space is designed to maintain a high level of environmental performance despite its low technology. Fresh air vent panels are located at the lower and upper portions of the new façade to encourage stack effect cross ventilation cooling during warmer months. A third smaller operable panel at the floor level adjacent to the garden entry is a door for the client’s cats. The two existing openings within the garden facing masonry wall are enclosed by 2 inch insulated glass panels applied directly to the exterior face and held by four steel angles fastened to the masonry, reinforcing the ruin of the existing wall.