Harty and Harty design the perfect artist’s studio in Norfolk
If all a writer needs to find inspiration is a secluded cabin in the woods, then the artist’s equivalent would be a light-filled, purpose-built studio with amazing views; and this is exactly what an artist in Norfolk got, when she hired London architects Stephen and Annabelle Harty of Harty and Harty to create a new workspace on the grounds of her main home.
The structure is a minimalist, sharp and simple space made of local brick and cast in-situ concrete and topped with a green roof. Raw materials and rough finishes create a slightly austere aesthetic, but also a clean palette and flexible space for the client’s artistic explorations.
Inside, the building includes a workspace, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom; here the brick and concrete are complimented by birch veneer plywood on cladding and details such as the window shutters. The cantilevered roof creates a sheltered terrace on one end, while the raised floor level remains connected to the outdoors through large openings and stairways on three different spots.
The quality of light inside the studio and the carefully orientated views towards the house and surrounding greenery – such as the nature and waterways of the Norfolk broads – were both key concerns, as per the client’s brief. A clerestory window in the studio, for example, brings in valuable north light. The small structure, spanning roughly 80 sq m, was meant to provide space for both work and rest.
The client also commissioned the practice to design a series of bespoke furniture pieces for the space, such as a sofa, a bed, chairs and tables; taking this relatively compact project to whole new level, where architecture, design and art meet in perfect synergy. §