The initial idea for the studio came while I was working from home; I needed a space that was separate from domestic life. I knew I wanted the space to represent my design philosophies and agrarian aesthetic. But more than its being a work of architecture, I wanted the studio to serve as an educational tool. The space had to act as a recording studio, a backdrop for audio and video productions, a photography and writing studio, a music-practice space for my kids, an extra sleeping space for guests, and a reference point for clients to see my work. A barn was the perfect multipurpose prototype.
“The studio was designed in a way that highlights my own simple, humble design aesthetic. The construction assembly was deconstructed and simplified—framing and fasteners were left exposed, the meeting of materials was left plain, and nothing was covered with mouldings—so the space is an honest expression of the materials that were used to create it. Instead of using paint, color was introduced through natural materials: cool gray concrete floors create a contrast to the warm fir wainscoting and loft framing.
“I thought of the studio much like a lens through which one perceives the surrounding site. A variety of openings create different apertures to view the land: large glass doors face east, and narrow slot windows point west. When standing up and looking through the narrow slot windows, you can see only the forest floor, but sitting down you get a different view of the trees. Up high in the gables, tiny windows let sun into the studio, but only during certain points of the year, when all the leaves are gone. And in the winter, storms cover the skylights with snow and darken the space. The disparity of openings makes the structure interesting just in the way that they allow light to enter the space.
“As I designed the studio, I conceived it to be a teaching tool, not only for clients to see how humble, inexpensive materials can feel tailored and precious, but as a way to teach subscribers on my YouTube channel (30×40 Design Workshop). I created a series of weekly videos showcasing the creative process that went into each design decision. This allowed the studio to have an impact far beyond its small footprint, and it became a means to educate those who are considering taking the same steps.”
— Eric Reinholdt of 30×40 Design Workshop