D a n i e l   R u a r k ,   A r c h i t e c t

Custom Residential Architecture

Artist’s Studio

Alameda, California

The clients were a married couple and both dedicated artists as a profession.  They desired to construct a detached artist’s studio of approximately 1,860 square feet in the rear yard of their lot.  The lot is located within the City of Alameda’s M-2 (General Industrial) zone which contains a mix of light industrial as well as residential properties.  The client themselves reside in an older wood framed home at the street front of their property.

The client desired a two-story studio (actually an open mezzanine looking over and down to the ground floor below).  Its roof would slope up uniformly from across one side to the other, the high ridge of which would stand in front of a 28 foot tall continuous concrete block wall of a fabrication building on the adjacent property—the existing wall serving somewhat as a backdrop.  Roughly half of the ground floor space would be dedicated to glass sculpture work, requiring a gas line, furnace, kiln, etc.  Another separated portion would contain a minor exhibit area and office corner.  The mezzanine would accommodate oil painting activity and would have a large translucent skylight over to bathe the space with natural, diffused daylight.  An exterior balcony would extend from the mezzanine back towards the existing house.  The balcony served as additional work area as weather permitted as well as sheltered the City required parking spaces below.

The initial Schematic Design from the client’s program presented an entirely custom structure.  It was designed to be built with non-combustible materials (steel framing, concrete, concrete block, corrugated cor-ten steel wall/roof finish).

The project evolved over time as the client sought financing.  In the end, they opted to build a pre-engineered steel structure by a local company, a shell for which I coordinated and combined with the client desired mezzanine, partitioning, bathroom, balcony, and car shelter.