Russian River Studio has been designed by Cathy Schwabe Architecture in rural Forestville, California. Designed for a photographer and a writer as a multi-purpose space for painting, drawing, writing, photography, creative dreaming, holiday meals, small workshops, and overflow guests, this 864 square foot building with porch and terraced extensions frames the top of the hill above a small existing dwelling. Metal siding, used to better protect the shaded north side, wraps the east end of the house at the transition to the porch-covered entry and wood board-and-batten used on the rest of the walls. Large, colorful wall panels at the interior serve as accents for the otherwise white walls and open to reveal work spaces. The large, light-filled primary space, with polished concrete floors and a ceiling painted blue between exposed wood framing, adapts easily to the changing uses.
Sustainable features were paramount to the design of this building, with its small size and open, versatile plan, allowed for conservation of resources and a reduced carbon footprint. The structure was sited and shaped to maximize daylight and natural ventilation. High-performance glass was used in doors and windows. Concrete flooring was applied for thermal mass. Low-flow water fixtures were used in the bath and laundry. Western Red Cedar was clad to the exterior of the home (except for the north side); locally harvested and naturally resistant to rot and decay. Metal siding was applied to the north side to resist mildew and decay, a common occurrence on north-facing wood and stucco-faced walls in this climate zone.
Photos: David Wakely