Cassion Castle Architects were commissioned to design this multi-purpose structure next to a former farmhouse in Hampshire. The client, product designer Tom Lloyd, wanted a timber building that could fulfill a series of basic functions as a studio, workshop, garage or storeroom. More importantly, he saw an opportunity to combine architecture and timber craftsmanship to create a simple yet beautiful building that would enhance its setting and complement his home. Tom commissioned Cassion Castle Architects in October 2011 and was closely involved in all aspects of the design.
Long Sutton Studio replaces a concrete garage and timber shed, both of which were in a poor state of repair. A key objective was to replace these with a single building that was more sympathetic to the main house, both in its design and choice of materials.
At first sight, Long Sutton Studio is deliberately understated. Its traditional form enables it to appear as though it has been there for many years, and to blend inconspicuously among nearby vernacular buildings. Closer inspection, however, reveals modern detailing which gives the studio a subtle and contemporary identity. The predominant material at Long Sutton Studio is timber, and here it is celebrated and showcased in its many forms: softwood and hardwood, laminated, planed and rough sawn.
Externally, the studio offers a simple and respectful presence alongside the main house. Traditional materials are used throughout: vertical unfinished green oak weatherboarding sits upon a red brick plinth (matching the bricks of the house) beneath a reclaimed tile roof. Natural light is admitted through roof lights set in the slope of the roof, allowing windows to be kept to a minimum along the main elevations so as not to interrupt the strong rhythm of the weatherboarding. Two fine sets of double doors - similarly clad in oak - open up the building on the primary elevations to admit further light when weather permits.
The interior provides a strong visual contrast with the simple exterior. Structural elements here are expressed decoratively, with fixtures and fittings used to give character to the space. The primary structure is a series of six glulam portal frames, with lesser elements then layered over this in a clear hierarchy. Exposed galvanised steel plates and fixings emphasise the structure and offer further visual interest alongside the timber and brick. Spaces created within the walls’ depth are employed as workspace, shelving and storage. Objects placed here, such as a log pile or piece of wooden furniture, can take on sculptural characteristics themselves and extend the celebratory use of timber.
Long Sutton Studio is completely accessible to all building users. Because it is illuminated almost entirely by natural light and has no heating, its carbon footprint is negligible.
Construction began on site in January 2013 and was completed in May 2013.