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2nd Row Studio

A photographer envisioned a modern studio located in an existing downtown building along the edge of a revitalized city block, serving also as a venue for concerts and events.


Our objective was to create a versatile, cost-effective studio space that not only met the photographic & lighting needs of the owner, but also interacted with the neighborhood using the parameters set forth by the existing vacant shell.  The shell's large existing masonry wall, dividing it into two contrasting spaces, was used to create two distinctive and desired studio environments.


The studio, adjacent to the street, is flooded with soft northern light filtered through large existing storefront windows along the sidewalk.  This space, in order to maximize the use of natural light, is left as open as possible by using exposed steel members to frame an office mezzanine/balcony above and work stations below.  The edges of these areas are defined using steel cables, leaving the remainder of this space open for shooting.  The rear studio, lit naturally only by two small upper windows, creates an atmosphere conducive to more complex lighting and sets where light control is essential.  This space also contains a kitchen and lounge area, storage, and support spaces with an enclosed mezzanine used for color correction.  There is also a rotating shutter in the mezzanine wall above that can be opened to photograph studies from over head. 


From working with local steel materials, projected photographic images visible from the street, and the ability to convert a studio to stage, the promotion of urban energy and interaction is created along the associated city block.


Honorable Mention, AIA Alabama Chapter

Merit Award, AIA Birmingham Chapter

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