Virginia-based Bushman Dreyfus has been named a winner of the Small Architecture category of the 2022 Architecture MasterPrize for their Heirloom Farm Studio. Located in a sustainable residential community on a working farm at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia, the 565-square-foot building functions as both an art studio, exercise room, and music rehearsal space.
Completed in 2021, the farm studio was created in response to the desire of a Manhattan couple to escape the city during the height of COVID-19. Situated close to an existing 18th-century log cabin, the studio was also destined to be joined at a future date by a new house whose exact location and style had not been determined. As a result, the team was required to create a studio that was both “proximate and complimentary” to its surrounding mix of old and new neighbors.
The architects subsequently designed the studio as a “simple, minimal, prismatic form” drawing inspiration from Scandinavian barns. The building uses the same dark wood slats on both its roof and exterior walls creating various visual abstractions as one approaches the studio from a distance. The dark-stained poplar slats have been thermally treated to improve robustness, while the cladding system itself is designed to be removable in sections.
Inside, an unembellished working space is painted white, equipped with adjustable ceiling track lighting and a walk-in art supply closet along one wall. Large windows illuminate the room on three sides and provide sweeping views of the surrounding pasture and mountains, while the south wall remains solid to offer privacy from the driveway and midday sun.
The studio by Bushman Dreyfus is the second Architecture MasterPrize winner to recently feature in our editorial. In December, we profiled a pavilion in Helsinki by Verstas Architects which offers “a serene respite from the bustling city.”
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