Scenic Design Studio

Scenic Design studio in Boston’s South End
The view as passers-by approach the garden and studio. On the left, stairs go down to the alley. Beyond the stairs, the garden, with the scenic designer's studio in its midst.
Scenic Design studio in Boston’s South End
An elevated view from across Warren Avenue. The presentation space is accessible from the sidewalk, while the studio has a private entrance from the second floor of her home. Atop the presentation space is her personal garden, which bathes in sunlight all day long.
View from inside the scenic design presentation space.
A view from inside the scenic designer's presentation space. Out of the corner of their eyes, they'll see the staircase and a hint of the workspace to which it leads. On the other side of the glass, the solid wall of the presentation space raps around to create a support for the workspace and a bench for gardeners.
View from the design workspace
As my client works, she'll have her rooftop garden to create a friendly mood, with the Boston Ballet just beyond her garden (not pictured, diagonally across the street) for additional inspiration.
Overhead view of studio - Kenneth Roraback
An overhead view (minus roofs) shows the circulation possibilities and the bridges that connect the different spaces.
Rooftop view of scenic design studio from Clarendon Street
A rooftop view from across Clarendon Street.
View of the studio from within the community garden
A view from the garden. Under the studio are lockers and a place to rest and relax in the shade.

'Project' => 'Design a studio and meeting space for a scenic designer living adjacent to a run-down community garden in Boston‘s South End, while improving upon the landscaping and functionality of the garden. My client loves the outdoors, enjoys gardening, and although she usually creates her designs ‘behind the scenes,’ she is not afraid to step onstage.',

'Challenges' => 'Create two distinct spaces that will inspire my client and support her work while enhancing the functionality of the garden.',

'Solutions' => 'Connected to her home on the second floor by a glass-enclosed bridge, the workspace contains a centrally located desk and translucent plastic shelving along two sides for her supplies. Anyone passing behind her in the garden or the alley, or on the street to her side, will see the scenic designer at work, screened by her tools and supplies. The wall in front of her desk is clear glass, making the passersby as exposed to her gaze as she is to theirs. Connected by a metal stairway, the client meeting space is easy to access from the sidewalk along Warren Avenue, but is more protected at the back and the side facing Clarendon Street to help focus attention toward presentations. On the other side of the cement wall—beneath her studio—are lockers and a shady space where a picnic table can go: a place for gardeners and members of the community to rest and relax on hot summer days.'