BUFFALO – He was a painter, she was a ceramicist. What sounds like the beginning of a love story, strongly defines the purpose-built creative space He, She & It by Davidson Rafailidis in Erie County, NY.
For a local artist couple, the Buffalo-based architecture duo reduced space to its aesthetically and practically necessary elements. Working with a budget of roughly 1000 euros per sqm, the architects wanted to create separate workspaces, tailored exactly to the users’ needs. The result is a minimalist cluster of three sheds with mono-pitched roofs. Although the three entities appear to be seperate, the opposite is true: the buildings are linked, and with regards to structural and climatic equilibrium dependent on each other.
Inside, the divisions are distinct. The painter’s space naturally resembles a white cube, empty but filled with light which shines exclusively through top lights, guaranteeing even and direct illumination while maximising the available surface on which to paint. High ceilings and exposed trusses add modern yet minimal rustic charm.
The ceramicist’s space, on the other hand, expands over two floors and offers generous views from the integrated desk areas. This division allows the artist additional room for her other creative practice, whilst keeping both separate: messy clay is modelled on the ground level, whereas up a few wooden steps there is space reserved for more delicate silversmith work. Both floors are lined entirely with soft maple wood, accentuating the warm and natural atmosphere, while creating a contrast to the industrial concrete floor.
The last shed – It – is for both of them. Filled with plants and the tools, it has an almost-outdoor feel. The polycarbonate-lined cabin accommodates plants in winter and seedlings in summer, offering light and positive temperatures all year round.
Considering colder weather conditions, the architects included folding-sliding partitions which can be configured in a variety of ways to detach the three spaces partially or fully from each other. Delicately conceived, the interiors radiate a sense of serenity and openness while making space for privacy.
Photos Florian Holzherr