Ceramic Studio and Home Office Addition August 2015 | PALMER WOODS NEIGHBORHOOD, DETROIT, MI
The challenge was to build a 500 square-foot addition that melds seamlessly with a 1920’s English Cottage home in Detroit's historic Palmer Woods, while functioning as a ceramic studio, kiln room and home office. Each space has different technical and aesthetic requirements. The addition’s street view mimics the scale, stucco exterior and fenestration of the 100 square-foot room it replaced. Less public faces are more contemporary and fenestrated to provide abundant daylight, while controlling solar heat gain and glare. The existing living room, with wood beams, medieval fireplace, and oak-plank flooring, transitions to the new home office via a deep, paneled doorjamb and antique beveled glass doors. An open shelving unit, used to display artwork, separates the office from the studio while maintaining spaciousness created by the cathedral ceiling, skylights, and trapezoidal windows in the gables. Iridescent pendants highlight work areas in the office, while dimmable direct/indirect linear LED lighting minimizes heat gain in the studio. The brightness of the studio is tempered by the antique art glass kiln room door, dark wood beams and stained trim that echo elements of the living room. Energy-efficient kiln heat removal was achieved with a high ceiling, mechanical ventilation with energy recovery, and outdoor air intake through a roof-mounted louvered penthouse, reminiscent of an English Cottage chimney. Completed in August 2015, this addition respects the scale and architectural language of one of Detroit's most desirable neighborhoods, while achieving the homeowners’ dream of a beautiful art studio.