The site for this studio residence is on an exposed knoll, with southerly exposure down the French Broad River valley, and a clear view of the Smokey Mountains to the west. There was an existing building on the site, and we were to integrate the new construction with it. The Client is an artist working in clay and wanted to create a working studio with significant storage space, a venue for gatherings, a residence for guests, and a chicken coop! Making it most interesting were the covenants in place for this property requiring that all of this happen under one roof.
The open gathering space-cum-studio was executed in a traditional timber-frame style with hammer trusses to maintain a completely open interior space. This structure is flanked by a conventionally framed residence on end, with the glazing room, storage and chicken coop at the opposite end. There are three bedrooms in the residence. Two of them are quite small, to prevent anyone from settling in for too long. The owner tends to eschew square corners, so we had fun playing with some interesting space-shapes in the residence. Two structural columns for the exterior roof and deck off of the master bedroom were fabricated from steel columns, utilizing salvaged brake drums and rotors for the bases and capitals.
This project is a wonderful example of a successful collaborative effort. Gurewicz Construction was the General Contractor. The timber frame was designed and erected by Goshen Timber Frames, and the stonework was laid by The Unturned Stone. The Owner-as-Artist was the essential inspired force; providing a great amount of creative input while allowing us leeway in our own process in the execution of the work.
Alembic Studio is a member of the Western North Carolina Green Building Council.
Lourdes Gonzalez is an accredited professional through the United States Green Building Council.