Vancouver-based Scott&Scott Architects recently converted an old butcher shop into their very own architecture offices. Located in East Vancouver, the bottom floor is used as their studio space, while the top is reserved as a residence for the husband and wife team and their children. The minimalist renovation improved upon energy efficiency while letting in more light, and copious use of natural and local materials results in an inspiring place to work and a super short commute.
Scott&Scott Architects’ new studio and home was originally built in 1911. It was once a butcher shop, and it was used as a grocery store for a long time. The commercial space was stripped down to a simple volume and rebuilt to be more energy efficient and with less inside. A large new window in the front allows for more natural light as well as winter heat gain. The open layout and built in storage eliminates the clutter and gives both Susan and David Scott plenty of room to work.
The two architects worked with local carpenters to build out the interior, which was lined with Douglas fir boards and black stained fir plywood millwork. The fir was sourced from a sawyer on Vancouver Island who milled and cut three logs to fit the height and space of the interior office space. Instead of stain or other toxic treatment, the fir was instead finished with a homemade wax made from beeswax and Canadian Whiskey. Materials are expected to wear and age over time naturally, while acknowledging the lumber-based building culture of the Northwest. The tables in the main studio space were hand made with blackened galvanized steel bases and hand-stitched leather tops.
When Susan and David are finished at the end of the day, they head upstairs to their residence. The super short commute allows them to spend more time with their kids and have a chance to work out in their backyard vegetable garden. “Our decision to embrace being small and the mobile nature of our discipline ( the use of laptops and smartphones) has allowed us to spend more time in our home eliminating a commute to another building which would be used for only 8-10 hrs,” explains David. “Much of our work is either out of the city or within a bike ride of our house so it has worked out really well for us.”
Images ©Scott and Scott Architects