The Red Hill Studio and Shop Front encompasses the transformation of a Queenslander under-croft into an office for ZUZANA&NICHOLAS architects, and involved the relocation of an existing laundry and the stripping of the under-croft back to its bare structure. A zero lot-alignment, fronting a relatively quiet side street, presents an immediate and public spatial relationship to the street akin to that of a shop front. Taking cues from the design of traditional shop fronts, large fixed glazed panels and a tile datum were adopted for the street elevation. All new insertions were designed and made akin to joinery - with walls, windows and shelves made as one piece, to be inserted between existing masonry columns and walls - a nod to the Queenslander and the tectonic integration of windows into wall structure. These new insertions stop short of the floor structure above, in order to strike a clean line at 2200mm, allowing for a brass spacer to accommodate the height variations of 100 year old structure.
In area, the studio is a mere 16.5sqm, with half of this space given over to an outdoor meeting room. The move to open up the edges of a once enclosed space, allowed for a direct visual and physical relationship to the street and further views between the street, the office space and the rear garden. Contained by a timber and brass screen, the outdoor meeting room is open to the elements and feels as much a part of the garden as the office. This quality of connectedness to a garden space, along with the natural ventilation that the design affords, runs counter to the internalised and mechanically ventilated spaces that typify most architecture offices.
Photography Toby Scott & zuzana&nicholas