When high end commercial interior styling consultant, Vanessa Cribb, needed a base to create, she engaged Angus Munro and Katie Hawgood from Marc & Co Architects to conjure the perfect space. Places magazine sat down with the Ashgrove based graphic designer turned stylist, to talk about her chic and unique garden atelier.
What was the initial brief?
Initially I was planning to build a more traditional shack in an underutilised part of my garden. I wanted a creative space where I could escape to paint, weave or sew. At the same time my interior styling business, IndigoJungle, was beginning to grow, so the need arose for a functional office space too - and somewhere to store a collection of artworks, artefacts, curios and knick-knacks. We specialise in styling high end commercial interiors, so it was also important that we had a work base that underlined the creative benchmark we set for ourselves.
How did the architects bring this idea to life?
Marc & Co took the shack concept to an inspired level. While mindful of my practical requirements, they focussed on creating a space that worked with the landscape and complemented the architectural style of my home (a recently renovated residence which the architects also worked on). The result was a contemporary rendition of an A-frame; a striking but simple geometrical structure with tall angular walls. Angus and Katie were very creative with their recommendation of materials too - achieving the look we wanted while keeping to our budget. The studio has a cross-braced timber frame with painted fibre cement cladding, cut and hung to look like shingles. There is plywood sheeting lining the interior walls and a concrete slab with custom designed glass mosaic tiles on the floor. Clever touches, like built-in and fold-down desks are ingeniously set into the triangular wall framing. These and the small storage shelves are made of timber.
How does the studio integrate with the natural surroundings?
Our property is lush and leafy, so we aimed for a very organic, green and recyclable feel. Windows are located high and low to provide ample natural light, and they each frame specific landscape views - each of which I love. The exterior mimics the jungle setting with the surrounding trees and the contours of the hillside.
What do you love about the end product?
I love to meander through the lush landscaped rainforest garden to reach my office. It’s only a short journey from the home but it still manages to adjust my mindset to the idea of leaving my hectic domestic duties behind to enter the workplace. I really love it and crave secluded, creative time in my she-shed!