Shoal Creek Family Studio Posted on April 21, 2014 By Cindy Black


When we design spaces dedicated for working or making, we have a unique opportunity to play with form, volume and light quality. This family studio was added onto a 1953 brick house that overlooks the limestone banks of Shoal Creek. The multi-purpose room is used for homeschooling, making music, graphic work, drawing, and crafts, as well as a fun place for the family to gather. A functional storage and utility room doubles as a half bath and is outfitted with an outdoor shower, making the whole space usable for a weekend guest.


The drop in floor elevation toward the creek edge expands the space vertically, while a surprisingly low corner window balances daylight with a high clerestory window.


A concrete proscenium offers an opportunity for impromptu stage sets. This threshold allowed us to expose the wood grain of the pine walls beyond the concrete structure and paint bright white walls throughout the rest of the room.


 Two portholes, built using steel pipe sections and cut glass, peek out to the outdoor shower and bring light along the concrete desk surface.


We wanted to encourage the truly messy and destructive nature of creativity, so the desk, stairs and floor are all poured out of concrete.  The owners fashioned the handrail and some of the shelving details out of galvanized plumbing pipe for a handmade feel.


The concrete structure extends outside to form a scupper for the butterfly roof. The exterior materials are of a more modern palette, but compliment the pink brick: bronze corrugated metal, Billiard Green aluminum clad windows, stucco and painted wood eaves.


Green doors and windows symbolize the transition from the house to the invigorating atmosphere family studio.


Contractor: Matt Davenport

Photos by Whit Preston