Dezeen Magazine

A Brutalist open plan study and living room

Ten homes with spacious open-plan studies and workspaces

An apartment in the middle of Berlin and a home overlooking the Devon countryside feature in this lookbook, which spotlights 10 studies with open-plan layouts.

Studies are often relegated to the stuffiest corners of the house, but a more flexible layout means there's plenty of opportunity to play around with arrangement, privacy and light, often resulting in a boost in creativity and focus.

The below projects demonstrate why a study needn't be restricted to a separate room or mean sacrificing style, size or comfort. Living rooms can blend into places to work and in the case of Library Home, studies can be spread across the entire home.

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen's archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks including bedrooms on mezzanine levels, relaxing wet rooms and living rooms with floor to ceiling glazing.

Charlotte Road by Emil Eve Architects
Photo is by Mariell Lind Hansen

Charlotte Road, UK, by Emil Eve Architects

Set inside the loft of a Victorian warehouse building in Shoreditch, east London, this industrial-looking workspace forms part of a wider living area that includes the kitchen and living room.

In a continuation of the rest of the space, local studio Emil Eve Architects kept the original building's exposed brickwork walls, timbers and columns and set them off against contemporary finishes including new metal finishes and tiling.

Find out more about Charlotte Road ›

Home office
Photo is by Olmo Peeters

Riverside Studio Apartment, Belgium, by Studio Okami Architecten

Exposed concrete beams, floors covered in a peach-hued resin and double-height windows create a brutalist look for the open-plan study in this studio apartment in the Riverside Tower in Antwerp.

The home was designed by Studio Okami Architecten to feel as open and spacious as possible to allow its original concrete structure to take centre stage. The study is only designated by half-sized walls.

Find out more about Riverside Studio Apartment ›

Devon Passivhaus by McLean Quinlan
Photo is by Jim Stephenson

Devon Passivhaus, UK, by McLean Quinlan

Sweeping views of a historic sloping garden are enjoyed through the window wall of this study in Devon Passivhaus – a remote Passivhaus home created by McLean Quinlan for a client with green fingers.

The interior is finished with earthy materials including reclaimed textured terracotta tiles, rough-sawn oak flooring and charred wood cabinetry, helping to create a "serene" environment and connect the home to the garden further.

Find out more about project name Devon Passivhaus ›

House in ODonnell by Lucas y Hernández-Gil
Photo is by José Hevia

House 03, Spain, by Lucas y Hernández-Gil

Not unused to turning poky and compartmentalised Spanish apartments into sweeping open-plan residences, local studio Lucas y Hernández-Gil designed House 03 to maximise views of the outside.

The architects removed the walls inside the 190-square-metre apartment to create an open-plan living, dining and study room. At one end of the room, they installed a dark wooden desk in front of built-in white shelving for a couple and their four young children to study.

Find out more about House 03 ›

Study inside Berlin apartment designed by Gisbert Poppler
Photo is by Robert Rieger

Berlin Apartment, Germany, by Gisbert Pöppler

As part of their overhaul of this central Berlin apartment, Gisbert Pöppler reorganised the floor plan so that the master bedroom, guest bedroom and bathroom are the only areas of the apartment that are completely separate.

In the absence of walls, social spaces are distinguished by different materials: in the study, surfaces are overlaid with a minty colour while the entrance is panelled in red-lacquered wood.

Find out more about Berlin Apartment ›

The Library Home, Shanghai, by Atelier TAO+C
Photo is by Santiago Barrio and Shen Zhong Hai

Library Home, China, by Atelier Tao+C

Bejing studio Atelier TAO+C transformed this 95-square-metre apartment in Shanghai into one huge study by installing floor-to-ceiling oak bookshelves around its edges.

A secluded reading nook, which can be accessed via a set of marble stairs, is located on the mezzanine level, where residents can look down into the living area through a light bronze mesh that runs throughout the home.

Find out more about Library Home ›

Flat House on Margent Farm, Cambridgeshire by Practice Architecture
Photo is by Oskar Proctor

Flat House, UK, by Practice Architecture

Large prefabricated panels made from hemp and lime form the structural shell of this house, giving it a tactile look while timber doors and woven rugs add further warmth to the interior.

Practice Architecture worked alongside hemp farmers to erect the zero-carbon home which is located over the footprint of a pre-existing barn in rural Cambridgeshire.

Find out more about Flat House ›

Unfurled House by Christopher Polly Architect
Photo is by Brett Boardman 

Unfurled House, Australia, by Christopher Polly

Sculptural white walls that "unfurl" vertically and horizontally into a series of connected interiors spaces were among the features that architect Christopher Polly introduced in his reconfiguration of a 20th-century house in Sydney.

Large windows provide views of the lush vegetation outside from the study, which is linked to the living room below via a curving atrium with waist-height walls.

Find out more about Unfurled House ›

Penthouse Brtiselei by Hans Verstuyft Architecten
Photo is by Frederik Vercruysse

Penthouse Britselei, Belgium, by Hans Verstuyft

Architect Hans Verstuyft spread his minimalist home office across the lower floor of this penthouse in a converted Antwerp office building.

Like the rest of the apartment, the office is open plan and arranged around an open-air courtyard. Full-height glass windows from the desks and meeting room offer views of the 35-year-old tree at its centre and brings light into the space.

Verstuyft finished the interiors, which are minimalist in style, with lime-washed walls and brass detailing.

Find out more about Penthouse Britselei ›

An open plan office and living room
Photo is by Lit Ma

Grosvenor Residence, China, by Lim + Lu

Lim + Lu designed Grosvenor Residence, this first-floor apartment in the Hong Kong metropolis for a nature-loving Japanese and British couple with two children.

The studio opted for neutral colours and finishes and plenty of greenery to make it feel like a tranquil retreat.

In the home office, which is located in the brightest corner of the apartment, oak slats line the otherwise minimalist white walls while a long, L-shaped Calacatta marble desk sits below built-in timber shelving with brass accents.

Find out more about Grosvenor Residence ›

This is the latest in our series of lookbooks providing curated visual inspiration from Dezeen's image archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing statement skylights, kids' bedrooms with loft and bunk-beds and welcoming terraces.