The Martinez Photography Studio is a small accessory building located in the rear yard of an existing residence. The building was to serve as a space equipped for professional portrait photography, a small office/photo editing suite, a storage area, and a waiting area with seating. The challenge was to deliver an inexpensive structure that provided a professional photography studio with controlled light and views into the backyard.
The solution was found in a clever adjustment of the corner facing the house, providing two glazed surfaces (a door and a picture window), angled in plan, both of which could be covered by sliding wooden screens. When the screens are closed, the rectangular form of the building is complete and light filters precisely into the photo studio. When the panels are opened, the lush backyard landscape pushes upon the angled glazed walls and enters the pure whiteness of the space within. The slatted screens are hung on barn door tracks and thus glide easily across the elevation. This simple tactile system amplifies the user’s control of and relationship with the building and the space within. Even a child can enjoy the experience of pushing the raw wood screens across the building’s façade, revealing a hidden world within or exerting control over the natural world without.
Thickened poché in the front façade wall allows for light control in a small window near the ridgeline and a punched out space for a couch. Two other stand-alone walls in a T-form against the back of the structure provide a backdrop for the photography studio and the storage and office space. The material use is simple and elegant: pure white interior for optimal lighting and color control, and wood siding with a subtle paint wash on the exterior sets the structure against its natural surrounding.
Photography by © Alix Martinez Photography