A Northwestern Design Nook - Design Bureau

Roof overhang: The lighting of the studio was critical for the artist, and pairing softened cedar with industrialized lighting structures and aluminum windows was the perfect way to complement the machine-made elements in a woodsy environment. 

Rear-entry path: Fir trees surround the house on three sides, save for the rocky trail connecting the artist’s home to the studio. Photo by Nancy Greene.

Kitchenette: No starving artists here—Doug-fir cabinets store victuals in a fully stocked kitchenette. 

Wood-burning stove: Where the heated cement floor fails, the rustic space heater of yore triumphs in warming the all-wood studio space.

A Northwestern Design Nook

Friday, November 18th, 2011

photos by JK Lawrence

In the middle of the Pacific Northwest is a beacon of light: the lantern-like studio of an artist who knows that even in the dead of winter, her space will be a well-lit fortress for creativity.  

The compact and sustainably designed structure almost totally blends into the surrounding forestry save for its desired effect: to be a “fully-lit box” where the artist can focus on her watercolor, collage, and letterpress creations. 

With a media room, exercise room, and kitchenette, Greene Partners Architecture and Design created the space to be as comfortable as a home, and designed it so that the studio could actually be a full-time residence someday if needed. Outside, they ensured that their design altered the surrounding environment as little as possible.

“We are ruralists,” says principal Joe Greene, “and rural buildings are practical, simple, and utilitarian. This studio reflects that philosophy.” Combining the windows of a commercial building with handcrafted lighting and the comforts of a home make this artist’s studio fully livable—even in the harsh winters that blow over San Juan Island.

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