On the offshore Fogo Island in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada is Squish Studio — a gorgeous workspace jutting from the scenic, rocky coastline. Saunders Architecture gave the studio solar panels — something that becomes particularly beautiful at night as they light up the structure like a lighthouse — a compost toilet, and other eco-friendly touches.
We might be joining Team Saunders soon if the architectural firm keeps creating beautifully designed studios such as the Tower Studio, also located on Fogo Island like the aforementioned Squish Studio. The angular, twisted exterior is completely windowless (but gets plenty of interior sun thanks to a massive skylight) and black, and can only be reached by hike. Three levels tall and featuring inclined surfaces — making it appear as though a mad German expressionist created it — the studio features all the same eco-savvy tools as Squish. Be sure to visit Bridge and Long studios also from Saunders Architecture to imagine further creative possibilities.
Shipping Container Studio
Most people generally don’t think of shipping containers as attractive structures, but MB Architecture does and has created a functional, but inviting workspace. Aiming to blend the boxy studio with the surrounding environment, the architects kept things simple and clean — allowing white walls to act as enormous blank canvases highlighted by ample natural light.
Image credit: Yiannis Hadjiaslanis
Boeotia, Greece boasts a dome-shaped workspace, complete with sculpture gallery, balcony, storage area, and cantilevered concrete steps that can also serve as an exhibit area. Inspired by the “spirit of the Greek landscape,” A31 Architecture wanted to create something that felt timeless — recalling antiquity and modernism. Unique construction considerations — including the sun’s trajectory — make the art warehouse a truly special place for one local painter/sculptor.
We’re big fans of mobile everything, and repurposed Airstream trailers are near the top of the list. One artist transformed her iconic recreational vehicle, updating the 1963 trailer for art’s sake. The furniture and décor pays homage to the vintage Airstream, but doesn’t sacrifice workspace for style.
Image credit: Undine Pröhl
Safdie Rabines Architects wanted to minimize the impact their beautiful structure would have on the natural environment, so they created an actual “bridge” that connects the two-person workspace to an adjacent house. Perched atop a canyon, the floor-to-ceiling glass doors create openness while providing a killer view of the San Diego area.
Image credit: Ole Hein and Poul Høilund D. Cruise
Looking at one Denmark stable from the outside, you wouldn’t be able to tell that the space is a haven for artists. Copenhagen firm Svendborg Architects have built the workspace inside an existing stable, preserving the structural walls and roofline. One half of the gabled interior is fitted entirely with mirrors in order to reflect things into the studio via the skylights on the other side of the pitched roof. It’s a progressive way to transform an old farmhouse, respecting the surrounding environment.
One artist’s studio looks like the house that Ikea built, and we approve. The brightly lit painting workspace contains a large storage area, its own workshop, a garage, and a garden shed. You’d never guess the sleek, modern studio was located in the burbs of Melbourne.
Architects Edwards Moore designed this translucent fiberglass carport studio in Melbourne. The simple, lovely design has a clean façade, allowing it to seamlessly blend with the adjacent first floor, art deco-style apartment. The workspace features porthole windows, a shower/wet area, and canoe storage (jealous!), among other amenities.
Dangermond Keane Architecture wanted to “capture and add warmth to the silver Oregon daylight,” which judging from episodes of Portlandia does seem to need a little sunny oomph. This Portland painter’s studio is a single-person structure, and the stylish design doesn’t detract from its intimacy.
If you’ve ever dreamed about quietly working away in the middle of the forest like Snow White, then behold one New York artist’s studio surrounded by trees and silence. A transparent roof allows you to daydream while painting, and the interior design is minimal, putting the emphasis on your work.
This ivy-covered workspace looks like it sprouted in the garden on its own. It recently won an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for its impressive marrying of organic and modern. The old garden shed was fitted with an exterior metal frame for the ivy to cling to, and the results are utterly charming.
No. 19 Studio
Kortknie Stuhlmacher Architecten of Rotterdam collaborated with artists BikvanderPol for a municipal art program in Utrecht. The mobile studio “doesn’t aim at being a piece of art in itself, but mainly offers a practical and affordable place to stay.” The massive structure maximizes space and function, allowing its inhabitants to divide the long interior however they please. Don’t worry, the behemoth structure is safe for transport and is permitted on public roads. We dig the studio’s dungeon-like trapdoor opening.
Ultra Modern Studio
Architects B+U, LLP’s art studio looks like it landed from outer space, but the ultra sleek and modern workspace is located in Los Angeles. On a hillside, the structure was built onto an existing single story house and is flexible enough to be easily transformed into a guesthouse (complete with wine cellar, jacuzzi, and more decks than any human being really needs). The curved steel might look out of place initially, but the firm explains their intent:
“The main design emphasis was a variety of trajectories that explored different movements and paths through the trees and the landscape, preserving the existing oak trees and minimizing modifications to the ground. The trajectories became the circulation path that in the areas of the studio and the cellar formed spatial enclosures, but mostly articulated as a trail through the thriving landscape.”
Tree House Studio
Hidden in the forests of Scotland, this tree house art studio is accessible by way of a bridge and wooden pathway, constructed to match the workspace. Part of the studio was built from the trees cut down to make space for it, aiming to minimize waste. Large windows and simple design make it an inspiring place for creative collaboration, as commissioned by the London Fieldworks art association.
Modern Tree House Studio
Rockefeller Partners Architects’ is a modern interpretation of a tree house, inspired by the branch-like steel pylons the art studio (and part-time sanctuary) is built on. The design shapes itself around the contours of the trunk — an homage to its California surroundings. Wood features prominently throughout the studio’s design, which features a fireplace and private outdoor shower for when things get really messy.