The workshop and studio grew out of a reluctant appreciation of the site, at the edge of a warehouse access alley, wedged between other tilt-up concrete structures, in an otherwise haphazard landscape. In an effort to work outside of convention, we proposed a jewel box to be made from off-the-shelf materials that were thoughtfully handled and detailed. Metal studs wereleft exposed and sheathing left unfinished to reveal underlying methods and systems. Interstitial space was carved inside, an ‘alleyway’ that oscillates between circulation, library, and restroom. Workstations were placed neatly and efficiently along an exterior wall, like parking spaces, while a translucent PVC encased porch (carved out of the interior, a premium in such a small space) reveals, distorts, and pulls the stark landscape in. Details emerged during the design phase that continued the theme, including lighting that was inspired by the streetlights and convenience stores that populate the area. The conference area was kept in the open, a conscious decision, reflecting the personality of the studio, where openness and a free exchange of ideas were essential to the workshop’s success.
Location: Houston, TX, US