I'm excited to showcase another work by the wonderful design/build team of Tom and Yumiko Virant of Virant Design. The savvy, apt duo are behind this gorgeously cool studio, built for a couple in Asheville, North Carolina. The couple they built this new space for- one is a graphic artist, the other, a metalsmith, so an artist studio, where creativity and good energy could flow, was a most welcome addition to their home.
Since this would be an artist studio, it was important to have good airflow and circulation as well as plenty of natural light without the distracting glare- hence the deep overhangs, the clarestory windows and the help of a 3d modeling program which detailed the sun's path through the sky.
The clients were hands on for this project which Tom and Yumiko welcomed. The countertop was made by the husband as well as a few design accessories while his wife was in charge of color and finishes. Yumiko explains, "It was wonderful because their choices and involvement made the building uniquely theirs."
The space is 700 square feet and includes a studio, guest bedroom and bath. I especially love the two chairs used as end tables by the side of the bed....
From the street you can only see the studio from the side, which ensures the home as the dominant building on the lot. Tom and Yumiko took cues from the existing home in terms of which materials to use for the studio exterior, which included horizontal siding (the red part is cement fiber board) and some metal panels. Tom enjoyed this design, "I really like how the red siding wraps the corner and makes the full metal face, which is galvanized sheet steel, inset and distinct."
The artists in residence have a young son and wanted to create a courtyard of sorts by placing their new studio caddy corner to their home. The wide, open windows allow a clear view of their son playing in the yard, as well as ensure privacy. Yumiko believes there is another big advantage to this design, "One of my favorite things about the building is how close the outside feels when you are inside. If it is warm outside, you can open the sliding doors and feel as if you are outside. All spaces should have the capability of feeling that way. I think it keeps us sane to be close to nature." And it keeps me sane to know such beautiful home design continues to evolve and be. Thanks Tom and Yumiko for another inspiring piece of architecture.
Photos: David Dietrich Illustration: Tom Virant Content: Sweet Peach