This Entertaining Guesthouse and Studio Will Inspire You to Start Making Art

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By Matthew Keeshin / Photos by Benny Chan
When a garage damaged by termites had to go, a studio emerges.

It's not everyday an architect is asked to design around a video art collection. Originally located on the site of a termite-damaged garage, architecture firm Modal Design took on the challenge to design a new studio and guesthouse to accommodate all the activities for a modern video art collector. "We had to bring these two very different needs into one space." says architect and Modal Design founder Daniel Monti. "While we could not have a dark room for the guest house, we looked at other ways to project art on the surfaces with natural light coming in. We controlled how much light came into the space by orienting the main windows to the north." By creating multiple surfaces to project artwork with a distinct roof, the studio is a versatile space to enjoy new works of art and entertain guests.

This Entertaining Guesthouse and Studio Will Inspire You to Start Making Art - Photo 1 of 5 - Concerned that studio was too big compared to other homes in the neighborhood, the 1,060 square-foot structure references the dazzle pattern, a camouflage technique used by WWII battleships. Monti was inspired by the way the pattern "helps break down the scale of a large ship." Modal Design choose the zinc colors that fit with the neighborhood. "From afar and at certain angels, it is hard to see where one starts and one ends." says Monti.  

Concerned that studio was too big compared to other homes in the neighborhood, the 1,060 square-foot structure references the dazzle pattern, a camouflage technique used by WWII battleships. Monti was inspired by the way the pattern "helps break down the scale of a large ship." Modal Design choose the zinc colors that fit with the neighborhood. "From afar and at certain angels, it is hard to see where one starts and one ends." says Monti.  

This Entertaining Guesthouse and Studio Will Inspire You to Start Making Art - Photo 2 of 5 - The collector spent time in London and was always inspired by the various pavilions built by the Serpentine Gallery. She got her wish when she built her own artistic haven. The studio's facade is covered in zinc from VM Zinc. The custom windows are manufactured by Arcadia Windows. 

The collector spent time in London and was always inspired by the various pavilions built by the Serpentine Gallery. She got her wish when she built her own artistic haven. The studio's facade is covered in zinc from VM Zinc. The custom windows are manufactured by Arcadia Windows. 

This Entertaining Guesthouse and Studio Will Inspire You to Start Making Art - Photo 3 of 5 - The second level is an oak floor. Even the painted white floor is considered a possible surface for projecting video art. 

The second level is an oak floor. Even the painted white floor is considered a possible surface for projecting video art. 

This Entertaining Guesthouse and Studio Will Inspire You to Start Making Art - Photo 4 of 5 - The storage unit is built with a vertical grain oak. Modal Design worked with cabinet makers Scanlon Construction to follow the specific roof angles. 

The storage unit is built with a vertical grain oak. Modal Design worked with cabinet makers Scanlon Construction to follow the specific roof angles. 


This Entertaining Guesthouse and Studio Will Inspire You to Start Making Art - Photo 5 of 5 - The ceiling features pin lights that effortlessly blend within the folded surfaces to make the studio feel as spacious as possible. 

The ceiling features pin lights that effortlessly blend within the folded surfaces to make the studio feel as spacious as possible. 

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