Bark Design's Minimalist Studio Treads Lightly

bark design studio Australia green building photo evening

Architects Stephen Guthrie and Lindy Atkin of Bark Design Architects designed this steel, glass and plywood building to act as either a house or a studio in New South Wales, Australia. They describe it as a showcase of the Barks design approach and provides an inspiring work environment."

bark design studio Australia green building photo facade

And is is inspiring. As Contemporist notes, it is perched on only four footings to have minimal impact on the terrain and preserve the roots of the two eucalyptus trees it is squeezed between.

bark design studio Australia green building photo interior

It was originally designed to be relocatable; it sits on a valuable piece of land. But the architects then decided they didn't ever want to sell, so they put it close to the road and left the prime building site on the property free. They write:

The design strategies to ensure economy included: Using standard building modules to minimise wastage and labour time. The overall dimensions of the building, based on 1200mm x 2400mm plywood cladding, floor and ceiling panels express a minimize wastage. Selection of large plywood sheet panel materials for cladding, floors and ceilings. Minimising construction time. The erection of the complete structural steel frame was completed on site over five days. Three people erected the entire frame: The builder supervised and assisted, the crane driver positioned each component ready for fixing and the steel worker fixed all of the components in place (either loose bolting or tack welding and full strength butt welding after the erection was complete).


They planned their environmental strategies carefully:

  • Maximising and controlling breezes with natural Cross flow and 'Stack Effect' ventilation.
  • Using economical lightweight materials including plywood made with plantation grown timber resource and steel which is recyclable.
  • Minimising earthworks
  • Considered orientation
  • Maintaining natural terrain and significant vegetation.
  • Using sun shade awnings and external fabric blinds
bark design studio Australia green building photo location

I have only one caveat; it is in such a low density area. Is the stunning office in the suburbs green, if everyone has to drive there? What is the transportation intensity of the place?

More in Contemporist, Arch Daily and at Bark Design Architects

Related Content on