Benmore, Sandton, Gauteng
Built on the surface of a disused tennis court in the garden of a suburban property, this studio for an artist had a modest budget and high aspirations.
We designed a single volume with a ‘floating’ roof and high level windows so that the perimeter walls could be used for exhibiting work or painting against. The laminated timber roof rafters were supported on steel posts fixed on top of the wall. Between the posts were timber framed clere-storey windows. The tiled roof had two rows of transparent tiles on either side of the ridge to let light in.
With security issues at the front of the artist’s mind, I designed heavy steel gates at the openings to close independently of the doors – ventilation could still be possible whilst safely inside.
We were also asked to provide a large outside, covered area, and this is at one end of the building – under the same roof, but open at the end and without the windows between the side wall and the roof. The side wall is kept apart from the load bearing column and roof structure, and allows glimpses through at its sides, and gives the roof a lightness that it would not have were it connected to the building.
Attention to detail can be seen in that we installed copper flashing and clad the ends of the exposed rafters with copper caps to prevent water from soaking and warping them.