In a lush, quiet corner of Jamestown, Rhode Island, a simple and sweet outbuilding complements the house that stands beside it. With its board and batten siding, a small gabled volume attached to another with a shed roof, the structure looks like a miniature cottage. It’s actually a backyard artist studio, protected from the winds off Narragansett Bay by a circle of mature trees. Estes/Twombly Architects of nearby Newport designed it as an affordable, freestanding getaway that feels private and secluded, but is located just steps from the main house.
Clients Jane Wright, a painter and printmaker, and Dan Wright, a musician, both wanted spaces to practice their crafts. Local zoning rules require that accessory buildings remain under 700 square feet, so the architects had to find a small layout that would meet the needs of both clients. Plus, the project needed to be affordable.
The results just go to show how much of an impact you can make with unfussy materials and color schemes. The smaller wing contains Jane’s studio, while the larger one hosts a sitting room for hosting guests and playing music just outside a recording studio with a sleeping loft on top. That way, the backyard studio triples as a guest house.
The architects chose milled native Eastern White Pine for the siding, alongside other budget-friendly materials, to keep building costs at $160 per square foot.