Dezeen Magazine

Modus Studio turns old workshop into Manzeum guesthouse with steel extension

US firm Modus Studio has extended a rustic studio and workshop building in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to add a shop, guesthouse and entertaining areas within a steel structure built by the owner (+ slideshow).

Named Manzeum, the building sits on an almost-square 22-acre (8.1-hectare) plot, close to the main house and a variety of smaller outbuildings.

Manzeum by Modus Studio

The original structure acted as a workshop and garage, where the owner repaired cars and built steel fabrications.

The aim of the project was to retain these functions but create more space to entertain guests, as well as show off his metalwork skills.

Manzeum by Modus Studio

He therefore worked closely with Modus Studio to design an extension to both sides of the building, based largely on quick drawings, and built most of the extension himself.

"Manzeum was built from a few napkin sketches and a simple process of collaboration between an architect and a very capable owner," said Modus Studio.

Manzeum by Modus Studio

To the side of the sloped-roof garage, clad in rusty metal sheets, a new two-storey volume was added using a steel frame. The addition is surrounded by steel plates around the base, with cedar planks around the top portion.

A set of tall, thin windows allows light into a living space on the ground floor and a bedroom above.

Manzeum by Modus Studio

The upper floor features a small balcony on the end, while the lower level opens onto a gravel terrace complete with a fire pit.

Steel is used inside to form a staircase with suspended treads and multiple pieces of furniture, and the cedar is repeated on internal walls.

Manzeum by Modus Studio

Polished concrete floors feature downstairs, replaced with timber for the upper floor.

"The existing rustic studio and workshop is transformed into a strong, modern form that unites with the raw agricultural base of the original spaces," said Modus, which also designed a ranch-style house covered in cedar and Corten steel elsewhere in Fayetteville.

Manzeum by Modus Studio

"A dual personality exposure between tectonic workshop space and entertainment space is created, crafted, embellished and enjoyed."

A roundabout between the site's various buildings was also created. A wooden totem stands in the middle to act as a focal point.

Photography is by Tim Hursley.