HOMER WATSON HOUSE AND GALLERYCOACH HOUSE POTTERY STUDIO + GALLERY ADDITION
Homer Watson House and Studio is the former homestead and now museum of the important Canadian landscape painter. The coach house portion of the estate, now converted to an artist's studio, is separate from the main house and is situated near the rear of the 3 acre property. The grounds and buildings are designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.
The challenge was to design a pottery and ceramics studio addition to the coach house which would respect its historical significance and vernacular integrity. Early in the process it became clear that an attempt to attach a vernacular styled lean-to addition was not acceptable. Therefore a design approach was adopted which sought to preserve all facades of the building and make a physical link between it and the addition with as light an intervention as possible. Using this approach the design style of the addition was chosen to be classically modern in subdued contrast to the historic building. As well, it was set back from the main building in order to create outdoor courtyard spaces that function as sculpture gardens. The connection between the buildings is made with a frameless shear glass corridor making a surgical-like incision into the existing masonry of the coach house. In this manner the delineation between what is new and what is old is clearly defined and the historical state of the old building is respected.
The hierarchy of spaces between the buildings include interior and exterior reception and display galleries with changing degrees of glazed transparency which in turn lead up to a horizontal wall of contrasting dark bronze brick. This wall masks the bulk of the studio from the coach house as well as forming a contrasting backdrop for the house.
The building program allows for the existing building to continue operating as a stand alone artist-in-residence studio while conveniently connecting it to the larger modern studio. The glass enclosed galleries allow for the display of artwork produced by artists and students.
||Cultural Building / Studio / Gallery
||Architecture / Interiors / Landscape
||3,500 sq ft approx