The Art of Studio Design

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We often receive requests to design spaces that integrate our customers’ professional work into their homes. These spaces dedicated to our clients’ needs to work, play, and be creative in their homes are sometimes single rooms, entire floors, or even entirely separate buildings! Not only do these studio spaces minimize costs by avoiding the need to rent space elsewhere, but they also maximize home and family time — a win/win, all around.

Shown here is a his-and-hers art studio that we created at our clients’ Manayunk residence. As the photos reveal, the interior finishes of these studios — such as hard-wearing plywood walls and floors, and a simple HVAC system — were chosen with the intent of making them true work spaces. During the design phase of this project, we really focused on getting the desired amount of natural light in the right orientation. Both studios have skylights, so creating the proper pitch for the roof was critical in order to capture the northern light. In the second studio, the view to the exterior was equally important because it was a focus of the artist’s work. We also did some behind-the-scenes rough-in work to allow for an easy future bathroom addition. We find that this small amount of extra planning pays off for our clients for years to come.

In another three-story mixed-use property in Fishtown (see the previous news item), we are in the planning phase of creating a residential rental unit, a commercial rental unit, and an apartment and studio space for the property owner’s use. As part of that workspace, we will be installing kilns that the owner will use to fire her works of art. We are working closely with this client to ensure we have the proper technical specs for her equipment and the necessary electrical infrastructure to make her space as safe as it is visually appealing.

Mixed-Use Redevelopment Project Launches

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On deck this week: A mixed-use three-story building renovation in Fishtown. We are currently in the planning phase of this project with our client, who recently purchased this building “shell” with plans to renovate it into one residential rental unit, one commercial rental unit, and an apartment and studio space for her own use. There is also a garage that will be addressed at a later date.

We met with our client last week to discuss zoning issues. Without proper planning, the zoning approval and permit process could hold this project up for many months. However, Tamara and our architect thoroughly understand local zoning issues and where the various triggers for challenges lie — including facade, entrance, ADA and use issues, stair height requirements, property line setbacks, and such — so we expect to navigate through the zoning and planning phases very efficiently for our customer. This is especially important in the case of a commercial-use property like this one because the building owner wishes to get rental income flowing quickly.

Stay tuned for updates and photos as this project develops.