Warehouses, schoolhouses, and factory buildings repurpose well into lofts and art studios, but draftiness and patchy temperatures often come with the terrain. Berlin architecture firm Davidson Refaildis devised this concept, Selective Insulation, to help with this problem. The result: a thermally cloistered space for desk work, built around a window. Installed in the Old School House in Hexham, UK-an 1849 structure where it is "difficult to maintain warm working conditions for much of the year,"-this angular pod creates an insulated microenvironment.
The Selective Insulation workspace is built from a wooden frame skinned with double-ply bubble wrap, the sort used for greenhouses. The partial transparency creates a visual barrier (from, perhaps, your sculptor studiomate) while still letting the window's light into the apartment. Working from home makes more sense than ever (here's a comprehensive how-to), and with the economy as it is, we're likely to see more people taking up new endeavors at home, and more industrial-type buildings being appropriated as live/work space. Creating spaces within spaces (like this setup built from cardboard) is a key technique for making the most of open floor plans and high ceilings. Crafty types could build a similar space to meet their exact work needs, or the concept could be applied to make a cozy place to sleep.