Zinc is the 24th most abundant element on Earth and as an architectural material it offers an extremely durable, corrosion resistant, easy to maintain surface that can be used to cover and create buildings in ways mostly limited by imagination. Studio Weave fully embraced these metallic, weather busting properties when it created Midden Studio, an artist’s workspace clad entirely in zinc that's tucked away on the west coast of Scotland.
Perched over – as opposed to near – a local stream (or burn in Scottish) with the lilting name of Allt ant-Sionnaich, the Midden Studio is described by its designers as the "lovechild of native granite and the local buildings."
"We wanted the building to appear as a homogenous object, and zinc was a material we could use on every exterior surface - walls, roof, gutters, etc.," explains Eddie Blake, Principal Designer at Studio Weave and Project Lead for the Midden Studio. "Zinc is also very hard wearing, and the sea-sprayed, stormed tossed environment up on the west coast of Scotland demanded a tough cladding."
studio’s unique exterior is covered in a symmetrical pattern of
crosses and diamonds. The result is a modern look with a textural
feel that is meant to connote masonry patterns derived from the
facades of two historic buildings in Italy – the
14th-century Palazzo dei Diamanti and the 18th-century Chiesa del
Gesu Nuova church – and the now-ruined Crichton Castle on Scotland's
structure is actually two slightly offset buildings creating a
square meters (approximately 380 square feet)
built on top of a midden
wall where dung from the old stables nearby had been deposited. A
portion of the studio is cantilevered over the Allt ant-Sionnaich
stream with a large window built into an overhanging soffit to allow
in soft light and provide an overhead view of the flowing water.
two separate spaces were created to solve the issue of light. One
area needed softer or controlled light for digital work while the
other needed more direct, bright light for traditional
painting and drawing. An indoor wash area is also included.
points out that the
building is made entirely from sustainably sourced timber and
designed to be super insulated, cold-bridge free and therefore needs
very little heating.
From a distance, Midden Studio could be mistaken for local barns and other agricultural buildings. But once inside, the zinc gives way to a strikingly minimalist space. Birch plywood covers both floors and walls allowing for an easy change when splattered paint, burn marks and other elements of the resident artist’s medium cover too much of the surface.