Carbon neutral studio

Issue 25 Words: Jacinta Cleary Photography: Charles Hosea
Norfolk, England
  • The studio is carbon-neutral for electricity thanks to its small footprint, good orientation, energy efficient windows, insulation and a solar power system.
  • The black cladding of the building is a bituminised product made from recycled cellulose fibres such as paper.
  • Inspired by traditional and simple farming buildings in the area, Long Studio makes the most of its dramatic views with windows to the north and south.
  • The artist's studio.

An artist’s workspace is designed for the graceful fields of Norfolk, England.

Imagine working in a light-filled studio with far-reaching views across the flatlands of rural Norfolk, knowing the building is carbon neutral. This is the peaceful and environmentally responsible space an established UK artist commissioned London’s Threefold Architects to create.

Long Studio sits lightly, covering just 30 square metres. The design, direcor of Threefold Architects Jack Hosea Jack says, was influenced by the “horizontality” of the Norfolk landscape and its agricultural buildings. The timber-framed studio is a graceful, more thermally efficient take on the average barn or shed. It has a simple portal structure of columns and rafters much like other local farm buildings.

While the windows capture the site’s beauty and drama, they also help cool the studio. In winter, the energy-efficient windows and thick sheep’s wool insulation in the walls keep away the chill.

The building is orientated so that the low winter sun streams in through the glass doors to naturally warm the space. The windows and doors are double glazed with low-emissivity glass and hardwood timber frames, limiting heat loss and contributing to the building’s zero-carbon status.

The studio’s dark exterior of bituminised felt sheet cladding is made from materials that include recycled paper.

The studio cost just £35,000 (about $60,000) to design and build. Threefold designed it around standard material sheet sizes to reduce waste and make it easier, quicker and cheaper for the owner to build. A 1 kilowatt solar power system covers electricity use.

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Cover of Issue 25
You can read more about Carbon neutral studio in Issue 25 of Sanctuary magazine.

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