Israeli architect Ranaan Stern has adapted a 15-square metre room inside an artist's Tel Aviv apartment to create a studio with two desks, 36 drawers, modular storage compartments, pegboard display walls and even a folding bed (+ slideshow).
The unusual set up was designed to accommodate living and working spaces, as well as display areas for a collection of specific objects dating from the 1940s to the present day.
"The artist creates and collects different kinds of art pieces, most are 2D but also some small sculptures, books and old materials," explained Ranaan Stern. "We needed different kinds of storage units, different sizes and different ways of keeping the new and old pieces."
The apartment is located inside a concrete block from the 1950s and two of the room's four walls are windows, so expanding the space was not an option.
The team spent four weeks measuring each object and organising them into four separate categories. These categories were then further divided into groups, dependent on how much a piece was needed for everyday use or for display.
"We also needed storage for materials and tools for the artist’s daily work. During measuring we gave each category a colour, which is exposed only when one opens a drawer or any other unit," said Stern.
The result is a layout that would appear random to an outsider, but has a coherence that is instantly familiar to the artist.
"The smaller sections can be removed from the larger frame units and placed on the table during work." Stern continued. "Removable sliding doors are actually pallets that pieces can be placed on for presentation or that can be used as modular easels."
Most of the cells, cupboards and drawers have been constructed from lightweight birch and treated with a clear coating that emphasises the wood's natural grain. Birch has also been used for the flooring.
"We also designed the storage by two rules: the easiest way to physically open and use, but always making sure everyday stuff and more needed pieces will be more accessible. Some pieces can be place on the pegboard which is also a painting stand for different sizes of boards," added the architect.
The windows were fitted with blinds to help give the artist control over the atmosphere and natural light. The addition of a folding bed that can be neatly stored away allows the space to also be used as a guest room.
Photography is by Gidon Levin.
Here's some more information about the project:
In the artist's central Tel Aviv apartment, architects Ranaan Stern and Shany Tal from Raanan Stern's Studio designed a versatile 15 sqm studio workspace. The proportions of the room in the 60 year old concrete building allow the maximum amount of light to enter through the window. The window was carefully divided and blinds were hung with the aim of giving the artist control over the atmosphere and natural light.
The artist's varied family and personal collection includes 2d pieces dating from the 1940's to the present. For this purpose: every piece that will be stored was measured: they were organised and ordered according to groups, sizes and artistic connections. After the organisational and calculation stage, four separate proportions were discovered that receive expression as each section is opened. Every cell, cupboard or drawer was designed internally according to the required proportions, only when the drawer is opened the colourful mosaic of the storage section is revealed.
In addition, different sections were planned and built for displaying and storing work, tools and materials. The smaller sections can be removed from the larger frame units and placed on the table during work. Removable sliding doors are actually pallets that pieces can be placed on for presentation or that can be used as modular easels. All the hidden mechanisms of the units and drawers such as the sizes and divisions were fitted to the proportions of the artist. The order of the space allows minimum movement outside of the work area and table and maximum accessibility to works tools according to their importance in the studio.
The closets and units are made of white birch as well as the flooring which is covered in bright birch tiles. The wood was coated lightly in order to give a light and delicate feeling, but still retaining the slightly wizened look of natural wood in the work space. The Artist uses the space to host colleagues and behind the sliding doors there is also a folding bed for the dual functionality of the room.