Existing Building Winner 2015
Architect: Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects
Structural Engineer: DMC Consulting Engineers Ltd
Main Contactor/Builder: Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects
Joinery Company: Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects
Wood Supplier: Lathams
Wood Species: Siberian Birch Plywood, American Red Oak
The architects of The Studio spent time travelling together in a VW camper van and have used their experience of living in a confined environment to create spaces that are efficient, practical and do not compromise the user experience. The building has been nicknamed ‘The Tardis’ due to its deceptively large space for such a small footprint.
Plywood has been used extensively to construct The Studio both as a finishing material and a structural material. To animate the space, a new staircase was constructed and clad out of one material inside and out to deliver a powerful experience as you walk through the spaces. The journey inside the newly created volume culminates in discovering a timber clad mezzanine room overlooking a double height space.
The relationship of the new construction with the existing building is enhanced by the contrast of the timber materials with more neutral white plasterboard walls.
The design has been likened to a tree house, with the staircase being a hollowed out tree trunk and the mezzanine sitting atop like a Scandinavian wood cabin. The architects wanted the staircase volume to feel sculptural, like it had been carved out of one piece of wood, it was therefore important that the surfaces felt solid and continuous. To achieve this, Plywood plugs have been used to conceal fixings and the cupboard doors are without handles to further enhance the solid, carved-out appearance of the space.
Birch Plywood has been used throughout and treated with Bona extra matt water based varnish. The varnish is clear so that the property benefits from the warmth and character of the natural Birch grain. To minimise on material usage and keep a control on costs, different thicknesses and grade of plywood have been used for different areas.
Plywood has been used on every single surface; floors, walls, ceiling and doors, delivering a very unique interior space.
Further Sustainability Information: The timber is PEFC / FSC certified.