Exterior of Tovin Studios
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Designed by American architect Sebastian Quinn, Tovin Studios is the new headquarters for Tovin Design, an independent design and consulting firm specializing in home furnishings.
Conceived as an intervention, Tovin Studios recycles the shell of a former warehouse, which was carved with large openings in the roof and walls to fill the space with natural light. The exterior is clad in weathering steel, referencing the site's industrial past and the grittiness of the surrounding neighborhood.
The banal 900 square metre (3000 square feet) cinderblock box was not an obvious choice for the space. But while it lacked any daylight, it did offer plentiful space. The renovation, including all new systems, roof, and landscape was achieved for a modest $100/sq. foot.
The architect employed a series of sustainable strategies to reduce the building's resource consumption and improve the user experience. Large window penetrations in the walls and roof allow the staff to work in diffused daylight, typically without any artificial light. The light monitors on the roof face south and employ operable translucent insulation, to act as direct gain solar heaters. They provide a third of the building's heat, and power a thermal stack summer ventilation system.