Studio GoodLight is a historic renovation of one part of a residential duplex and is a live/work arrangement. Preserving the existing building was a guiding design mantra in an additive approach.
Starting with the back half of a one-story historic building (the front half was developed by others), the alley-facing entrance wall was clad in weathering steel with a second floor residential addition clad in Shou Sugi Ban—charred cedar—siding with a weathering steel stair turret leading to a roof terrace. At one point in the building’s history, the structure was replaced with damaged bridge girders that were struck by a barge. The massive twisted and bent girders were cleaned and lacquered to accent and contrast with the white walls of the studio. The three-story spiral stair passes by the entrance to the residence allowing guests and patrons of the studio to access the roof top terrace while maintaining the residence’s privacy. An additional rear stair and hidden exterior door serve as a private entrance. Patrons enter the studio through an oversized pivoting door leading to a small accessible lobby behind the full height cyclorama wall. Moving into the studio, the bridge girders and spiraling stair explode into full view, flooded with natural light from a variety of tubular skylights. Each skylight provides a specific lighting purpose for a variety of photographic prerequisites ranging from fashion to food. A full commercial kitchen, garage and wardrobe areas complete the programmatic areas of the studio. Studio GoodLight won the Honor Award from the Alabama Council of the AIA, the Merit Award from the Birmingham Chapter of the AIA and the Best of Residential Design award from The IDIE International Design Association in 2017.