The Palatine Studio is a small backyard jewelry studio, wood shop, and guest cottage sited on a steep hill. With its gabled form and horizontal exterior cladding, the Palatine Studio is a vernacular reference to the neighborhood’s surrounding houses. This referential exterior form is then manipulated by outwardly sloping the east and north walls, creating an unexpected disruption to the form. Beyond this visual experience, the sloped walls compress the space above the eastern entrance path. The minimal sculptural details of the exterior not only shed the viewer’s assumptions of the form, but also draw the focus back to the simple experience of the form in its simplicity, and the space it inhabits. Upon entering the studio door threshold, the stairwell--painted the same color as the exterior, with the same slate chips--creates a material relationship to the exterior while also unfolding a notably tall space for such a small building. As the viewer ascends the stairs, the space again compresses to the top, leading to a small opening filled with contrasting white light. This is the jewelry studio, which is open and lined--walls, floor, and ceiling--with white pine. The expansion of light continues, though, with a frame-less floor-to-ceiling window, which, when standing against it, draws the viewer’s perspective from the building itself to the view of a mountain beyond.
Location: Charlottesville, VA, USA
Building Type: Workshop
Area: 575 sqft