Artist's Studio has a Wall of Sand


Elizabeth Alford teaches about prefabrication at the School of Architecture in Austin and runs the Prefab Lab; we met her at the Site:Offsite conference that she organized. She also practices architecture with Michael Young, and they have just built a studio for their practice and Michael's painting.

They really wanted a loft like they had in New York, but these don't exist in Austin so they built their own, 2,600 square feet including three studios in a "gentrifying" part of Austin. They raised the existing roof and filled in between with polycarbonate sheets, creating clerestory windows. "We were interested in the identity and tactility of materials" so they experimented: The wall shown above is a sandwich of polycarbonate sheets with the voids filled with 1,000 pounds of coloured sand. "It insulates, and we like the look" Young says.

In the courtyard with sustainable landscaping, a shade structure supports photovoltaic panels. Not yet online at ::Architectural Record