Dezeen Magazine

Cross-shaped artist's studio by Arquitecturia frames the base of an old ash tree

This timber-clad painting studio by Spanish studio Arquitecturia frames the trunk of an ash tree in the garden of an artist's house in Catalonia (+ slideshow).

Artists Studio by Arquitecturia

Josep Camps and Olga Felip of Arquitecturia created the small single-storey Artist's Studio for an painter based in Girona, north-east Spain.

With a limitation on scale dictated by the size of the garden and a budget of €34,000 (£27,000), Camps and Felip set about designing a space around the dimensions of the artist's chosen canvas size.

Artists Studio by Arquitecturia

The resulting 80-square-metre volume – which features a cross-shaped plan and a central double-height space – is clad in batons of pine wood sourced from a nearby forest.

The timber structure was prefabricated and assembled on site in just three weeks by local carpenters to minimise disturbances to the family's daily life.

The building sits beside a sloping driveway, but a wedge-shaped concrete podium provides it with a level floor.

Artists Studio by Arquitecturia

The four shallow arms of the cross-shaped plan provide the artist with spaces to store, hang and wash equipment, while paintings can be produced in the centre of the plan where everything is "handy and accessible".

Two large windows direct views into the corners of the garden and away from the house, while a third faces out to a paved driveway.

Artists Studio by Arquitecturia

"The artist wanted to work close to his home without actually seeing it," Camps and Felip told Dezeen.

"The volumes extruding from the centre space direct themselves to the outer corners of the gardens and give the impression of maximum depth achievable on this site."

Artists Studio by Arquitecturia

"Externally everything has a pinewood finish in a warm tone that weathers well and integrates itself in the surfaces of the garden," they added.

Pot plants are positioned on grey gravel under the windows in nooks created by the cross-shaped plan. These are intended to further integrate the building into the mature garden.

Artists Studio by Arquitecturia

The interior is lined in white painted MDF boards with grooved surfaces. The high walls that surround the centre of the space are used as a hanging area for paintings, while works in progress can be leant against the lower level walls.

A skylight in the centre of the roof brings sunlight into the space from above.

Artists Studio by Arquitecturia

"The double-height space provides breathing space for the artist and canvas, and gives a generous impression of pleasant working, large format paintings and light coming from height," explained the architects.

Photography is by José Hevia.

Project credits:

Architects: Josep Camps & Olga Felip
Collaborators: Mariella Agudo, Núria Vila, Adrià Masó, Alba Colomer
Technical architect: Joaquim Via
Structural design: GMK Grup

Artists Studio by Arquitecturia
Floor plan – click for larger image
Artists Studio by Arquitecturia
Section – click for larger image