This symmetric studio named 12 was built by Ortraum Architects in the garden of a house in Helsinki, Finland. The request is a room to compose music and make ceramics for the owner. They wanted an external space to work from home. It features two contrasting floors that have been slanted by the architects, giving rise to a sculptural form and two individual workspaces inside for couples.

The 12 studio measures 72-square-metres and is equipped with a kitchen and bathroom. Besides a house and studio, it can be adapted easily. Later o, it can turn into a guesthouse or a home for their future children.

“The client couple needed two main spaces, a ceramics workshop and a music-composing studio,” said the studio. “The massing is visually divided into two levels, reflecting the two different building functions,” it continued.

“The plan also needed to be flexible enough to function additionally as a guest house and future home for one of the two children in the family, so bathroom and kitchen spaces were included.”

The material pallet of 12 is deliberately peeled back, with the cross-laminated wood (CLT) structure left open internally and externally. On the outside, it will turn gray over time to help the structure blend into its surroundings. The entrance is marked by a large glass door overlooking the existing house. It also protected by a small cantilevered corner on the second floor.

This entrance opens to a tiled studio on the ground floor, which is equipped with a small bathroom. The black wooden staircase is hidden behind a wall and features a footprint that doubles as a storage unit.

The first floor contains a music studio. The angular shape was developed to help enhance the acoustics of the room and make it suitable for recording music. This space is equipped with two large windows. When it’s open, client can get the neighboring forest’s view. A small balcony and a gallery floor can be used as an additional lounge area.

The studio’s goal is to “set a best practice example for green construction and fill projects in a suburban context”. For this reason, its size is determined by the existing concrete foundation of the old garage. It avoiding the need for new and protruding base works. While the structure is prefabricated using CLT to avoid waste and speed up construction times. It has also been developed to facilitate natural ventilation powered by solar panels. And plus, it is heated using a ground source heat pump from the main house.

Ortraum Architects also built a small playhouse for the client’s children. It’s also made of CLT and tied to a pine tree in the garden. Birdhouse, the playhouse, features a heart-shaped windows and are modeled after the children’s drawings of their “dream home.”


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