Scott & Scott Architects build their own
timber-lined studio in Vancouver

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A year after establishing their architectural practice, Canadian architects David and Susan Scott have created a timber-lined studio for themselves in a converted butcher and grocery shop in Vancouver (+ movie).

Studio in Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects

The husband-and-wife team co-founded Scott & Scott Architects at the start of 2013 but until now have been without a dedicated studio, so they set about creating one in the former shop premises below their home – a building dating back to 1911.

Studio in Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects

The architects stripped back the interior of the 70-square-metre space to create a simple rectangular studio at the front, a workshop at the back and a wall of concealed storage in between.

Studio in Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects

Douglas fir planks were sourced from a local sawmill to line the walls, floor and ceiling of the main room. These were treated with a traditional beeswax, mixed with a solvent of Canadian Whiskey to produce a gleaming surface.

Studio in Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects

The former shopfront was fully glazed, helping to bring as much light as possible into the space, but also allowing neighbours to see what's going on inside.

Studio in Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects

"The priorities were to maximise the use of natural light, enhance the connection to the neighbourhood, use regional materials which have a known providence and acknowledge the lumber-based building culture of the Pacific Northwest," explained David Scott.

Studio in Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects

The couple enlisted the help of local carpenters to help them build the space themselves. Wooden cupboards were constructed from plywood and stained in black, creating a contrast with the lighter wood elsewhere.

Studio in Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects

The space is completed by glass pendant lights and a series of bespoke desks, which the architects designed and made with galvanised steel frames and hand-stitched leather surfaces.

Studio in Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects

Movie is by Odette Visual, with a score by Joel RL Phelps. Photography is by the architects.

Here's a project description from Scott & Scott Studio:


Scott & Scott Studio

A year after the launch of their practice architects Susan and David Scott have completed the refurbishment of the historic commercial space in their 1911 East Vancouver residence. Once a butcher shop and a long running grocery store, the space has been stripped back to a simple volume lined with Douglas fir boards and completed with black stained fir plywood millwork.

Studio in Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects

Using familiar materials from their region, the architects built the space themselves with a couple of carpenters. The fir was supplied from a sawyer on Vancouver Island with whom they have worked for several years. Three fir logs were selected, milled and cut to suit the width and height of the space. The work was completed in a manner rooted in traditional methodology while utilising the availability of modern tooling. The unsalvageable south-facing storefront had been infilled by a previous owner and was restored to an area of glass consistent with the original size using a single high performance unit.

Studio in Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects

Informed by a desire to create work which is fundamental in its architecture and supportive of a variety of uses over time, the priorities were to maximise the use of natural light, enhance the connection to the neighbourhood, use regional materials which have a known providence, and acknowledge the lumber-based building culture of the Pacific Northwest.

Studio in Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects
Floor plan

The architects favour materials and approaches that wear in and appreciate over time, taking on warmth with maintenance. The interior fir boards are finished with a variant of a warm applied 19th century beeswax floor finish with the solvent replaced with Canadian Whiskey.

The tables (a first of their self-produced furniture designs) are hand-stitched finished leather tops on blackened galvanised steel bases.