Studio for a Playwright and Composer

Performers need a place to perform, and artists need a place to create.

Studio for a Playwright and Composer is a project of calculated restraint and imperceptible presence. Created for two artists whose domestic and professional lives are often intertwined, the design positions itself in-between the two acting as mediator of improvisation and intent. The building program requirements were minimal; provide an isolated space for writing and recording, yet one of which also serves as a catalyst for collaboration with friends, family, and colleagues. While the buildings rest quietly in the background, the courtyard created between the studios and existing house encourage interaction by it’s inhabitants through meetings, rehearsals, and conversation.

Sited at the rear of a typical residential lot, the studios are tucked behind an existing residence and accessed only through a narrow walking path from the street. The size and location of the building footprints are inspired by two distinct architectural elements commonly found in New Orleans; the courtyard and secondary structure. Courtyards were often used as social and utilitarian spaces, while the secondary structure provided a separate space for cooking, bathing, or storage. Both supported the primary residence which was typically sited at the property line facing the street. 

Both interior and exterior space is shaped by the building’s form, which is derived from a series of transformations directly related to site and environment; split the massing to allow sunlight to fill the courtyard, lower the facade to reduce scale, elevate the floor above the flood plain, and add a platform onto which the building rests. Separating the building into two studios provides each user the opportunity to work alone with minimal distraction, yet their close proximity allows for moments of interaction.

Project Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Project Completion: 2015