Fire damaged? No, fire enhanced

The premise for this design is quite unusual: a visual artist who paints with fire buys a house on Blackwood Street and builds his studio using burnt wood cladding

So you work in burnt wood as an
So you work in burnt wood as an artistic medium – then someone gets you all fired up when asking what cladding you would like on your brand new studio?

Designed by architect Eric Tremblay, Atelier Boom-town

From the architects:

The Blackwood studio is the outcome of a long history that began several years ago with a meeting with Steven Spazuk, a unique visual artist who paints with fire. 

Spazuk wanted to free himself from the space constraints of his cramped studio set up in the attic of his home in Léry, on the shores of Lake Saint-Louis.

A first version of the studio project was designed there and was set up in the backyard. However, since the use of artist studios was prohibited for accessory buildings in that municipality, it was out of the question for the artist to carry out his creations on the sly in a garage.

The expansive, gabled studio looks like it was
The expansive, gabled studio looks like it was constructed at the same time as the house.

Additionally, the bedrock and constraints of the initial site soon made construction costs spiral upward. This marks the beginning of the search for a construction site for a house and studio. The location sought was to include an immense wooded area, frequented by birds, as the artist and his partner are bird lovers.

The couple eventually fell under the spell of a property in Franklin, on Blackwood Street, at the boundaries of the US border.

This home presented an opportunity to bring the owners' project to fruition by adding the studio that Spazuk had dreamt of for years directly to the house structure. The budget remained modest, the form would be simple, but the context enabled the creation of a project that would integrate well both with the existing buildings and its natural environment.

Light-filled and airy, the studio is all blackened
Light-filled and airy, the studio is all blackened wood on the outside and pristine white on the inside.

The resulting vast studio space is essentially dedicated to the creation and arrangement of an office area. The positions of the openings are designed to let natural lighting strategically illuminate the studio and allow the artist to relate to nature both within his new place of creation and at its doorstep.

An all-glass space makes it possible to connect the studio to the house which is white with a black tin roof – creating a play of back and white.

As fire is at the heart of the artist's working method, burnt wood cladding was specified to cover the main volume of the studio.

A long white skylight cuts a slit, like an arrow window, in the southwest facade, to sparingly catch the afternoon sun.

Credit list

Custom, by Arbres & Bois

Designed by: Atelier Boom-town

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Raphael Thibodeau

14 Mar, 2021

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