Pivoting steel doors lead into a house and
photography studio by Olson Kundig

| 6 comments
 

One pivoting door sits within another to create a rusted steel entrance that can be big or small at this combined house and photography studio in Spain by American firm Olson Kundig Architects (+ slideshow).

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

Tom Kundig of Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects designed Studio Sitges as the home and workplace of a photographer and his family in the coastal town of Sitges, north-eastern Spain.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

Eschewing the stuccoed walls and tiled rooftops of the local Tuscan houses, Kundig opted for an industrial material palette that includes pre-weathered Corten steel and raw concrete, some of which was cast against timber formwork to create grainy textures.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

The pivoting entrances form part of a large section of Corten steel, which curves around the top of the facade to reveal a row of clerestory windows that are sheltered beneath overhanging eaves.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

Other features include a glass lift that ascends between all of the floors and a rooftop study offering views out over the Mediterranean Sea.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

The building contains two double-height photography studios, both set below ground level. A ramped entrance allows cars and other large pieces of equipment to be driven straight into the spaces, while a mezzanine balcony with a glass floor offers views into the studios from the level above.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

A glass lift ascends to living spaces on the two storeys above. On the ground floor, living and dining spaces can be opened out to the garden using more pivoting doors - this time made on glass - and furniture includes restored teak tables and leather seating.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

A master bedroom is housed within a cantilevered block that extends out over a patio in the garden. A bridge connects it with three smaller bedrooms that open out to a terrace on the roof.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

Photography is by Nikolas Koenig.

Here's a project description from the architects:


Studio Sitges

Studio Sitges is a live/work space for a photographer and his family. Located three blocks from the Mediterranean Sea, the building captures the casual energy of this cosmopolitan beach town thirty minutes from Barcelona.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

The house is zoned vertically, with two large below-grade photography studios anchoring the building, a main floor for entertaining both large and small groups, and private areas above. A glass elevator moves between floors and culminates in an intimate rooftop atelier. Kundig describes the whole house as a studio - a space in which things can happen.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

A custom-designed wall and gate of rough concrete and weathered steel pushes the boundaries of the design out to the street. The gate rolls away to reveal a garage and a steeply sloping driveway leading down to the studios. Large panels of Corten steel arch from the ground over the facade to form part of the roof; the entrance to the house is via a tall steel pivot door, inset with a pilot door.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

The underground, double-height photography studios are strikingly raw. In both, cycloramas enable the illusion that the studio floor stretches into infinity. Cars and large pieces of equipment can drive directly into the space. Support areas include a glass-floored viewing area on a mezzanine overlooking the studios, as well as separate dressing, makeup, and spa areas. The studios are wired so that in-progress shoots can be viewed around the world.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

The design of the ground floor takes advantage of the mild climate, using sliding and pivot doors to maximise indoor/outdoor living. On the second floor, an interior bridge spans the space and connects the master suite with the other bedrooms. The master suite cantilevers over a dining terrace, while a guest suite opens onto a roof deck and planted roof overlooking the lap pool.

Pivoting steel doors lead into Studio Sitges, a house and photography studio in Spain by Olson Kundig

Throughout the house, low-maintenance materials such as Corten, concrete (board formed and cast in place), and mild steel give the home a handcrafted feel. At the top of the house, an atelier with indoor and outdoor space offers the home's only view of the sea. At night, the atelier combines with the glass-topped elevator to appear like a beacon when lit.

  • neko

    I seem to remember pictures of this house where the driveway was a viciously steep slope down from the street. Am I mixing it up with another house, or did something change ? Don’t make me get up and find my Tom Kundig book!

  • Dub

    Different house. You are thinking of the studio house in Seattle.

  • Sam

    No this project does have a very steep driveway too, it goes down towards the photography studio. Look to the right of picture two in the slideshow to glimpse the beginning of it.

    While I like some details of this scheme, I feel that there are many, many other houses by Kundig that are of more interest than this.

    • neko

      I see it now, thanks. I thought it sloped straight down from the street.

  • Wolfie

    Won’t be wearing white when I visit.

  • Londoner

    Wait until the corroded steel starts staining the concrete. Not bad looking but ill thought out.