East 12th Street Studios

The East 12th Street studios won a 2010 AIA Austin Citation of Honor award.  Delivered design/build, this compound of studio buildings occupies a busy corner in a transitional neighborhood in East Austin. One building was extensively renovated; three structures and gardens are new.

A masonry perimeter wall encloses quiet cactus gardens. Each studio space opens onto a garden. The top of the wall is at eye level to give simultaneous views of the arid landscape inside and lush neighborhood yards outside, an inverse oasis. Planters in the garden contain a collection of plants and various soils.

This space was designed as an artist’s studio, with an office/mezzanine above. All spaces have north-facing windows to provide ample daylighting. Openings were made with an inexpensive wall assembly of polycarbonate sheeting.

The space became a laboratory for material experimentation. This lead to using sand to fill the polycarbonate cells on the walls of the workshop building, a visually striking insulating screen.

A pergola with a photovoltaic array provides shaded outdoor space, and half the power the studio uses.