Zinc-clad artist’s studio stands in and against the elements
Zincis the 24thmost abundant element on Earth and as an architectural material it offers an extremely durable, corrosion resistant, easy to maintain surfacethat can be used to cover and create buildings in ways mostly limitedby imagination. Studio Weave fully embraced these metallic, weather busting properties whenit created Midden Studio, an artist’s workspace clad entirely inzinc that's tucked away on the west coastof 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 ofnative granite and the local buildings."
"Wewanted the building to appear as a homogenous object, and zincwas a material we could use on every exterior surface - walls, roof,gutters, etc.," explains Eddie Blake, Principal Designer atStudio Weave and Project Lead for the Midden Studio. "Zinc is alsovery hard wearing, and the sea-sprayed, stormed tossed environment upon the west coast of Scotland demanded a tough cladding."
Thestudio’s unique exterior is covered in a symmetrical pattern ofcrosses and diamonds. The result is a modern look with a texturalfeel that is meant to connote masonry patterns derived from thefacades of two historic buildings in Italy – the14th-century Palazzo dei Diamanti and the 18th-century Chiesa delGesu Nuova church – and the now-ruined Crichton Castle on Scotland'seast coast.
Thestructure is actually two slightly offset buildings creating acombined 36square meters (approximately 380 square feet)built on top of a middenwall where dung from the old stables nearby had been deposited. Aportion of the studio is cantilevered over the Allt ant-Sionnaichstream with a large window built into an overhanging soffit to allowin soft light and provide an overhead view of the flowing water.
Thetwo separate spaces were created to solve the issue of light. Onearea needed softer or controlled light for digital work while theother needed more direct, bright light for traditionalpainting and drawing. An indoor wash area is also included.
Blakepoints out that thebuilding is made entirely from sustainably sourced timber anddesigned to be super insulated, cold-bridge free and therefore needsvery little heating.
Froma distance, Midden Studio could be mistaken for local barns and otheragricultural buildings. But once inside, the zinc gives way to a strikingly minimalist space. Birch plywood covers both floors andwalls allowing for an easy change when splattered paint, burn marksand other elements of the resident artist’s medium cover too muchof the surface.