An Art Studio With Mirror-Like Glazing Floats Over a Desert Wash
Tired of painting in a spare bedroom that was too small and dark for his liking, artist Chad Little asked Scottsdale–based Chen + Suchart Studio to design and build an art studio as an addition to his desert home in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Rather than mimic the architecture of the artist's existing home—a contemporary stucco structure by Phoenix-based Thompson + Pollari—the architects instead decided to create a studio with its own identity.
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Extending from the south end of the existing garage, the 1,400-square-foot addition is clad in weathering steel panels and full-height insulated glazing with a mirror-like finish that reflects the desert landscape and protects against solar heat gain.
The minimalist design is echoed throughout the unit's light site footprint. Featuring a steel-beam floor structure that is elevated atop six 36-inch diameter concrete caissons, the studio appears to float over a desert wash.
Inside, the building is minimally dressed with polished concrete floors, white-painted drywall, and LED track lights.
"The interior space is configured as an open plan to allow the freedom of the studio to be used as a working artist’s studio or gallery space," explain the architects.
Three movable partitions were added to give Little flexibility in exhibiting his work, which can be displayed without nails thanks to an integrated artwork hanging system.
"The Little Art Studio engages the circumstances of the site by deliberately establishing its own language that is at once a clear departure from the language of the existing main residence, while maintaining respect for the site’s desert landscape," adds the firm.
You can find out more about Chad Little's artwork on his website.
Builder/ General Contractor: Verge Design Build
Structural Engineer: BDA Design, J. Greg Brickley, SE
Landscape Design / Interior Design: Chen + Suchart Studio