Project Profile: Devi Dutta Architecture Inc.

Backyard Retreat

pp3Located in the East Bay, this backyard studio provides a close retreat for a young family of four and their dog. They were rapidly outgrowing their two bedroom/one bathroom house and desperately needed more space. They have frequent family guests and had nowhere to put them, needed a place to keep growing instrument and surfboard collections and just needed space to hang out. Their current house, however, did not lend itself to an expansion without severe disruption to the structure, not to mention their daily lives. The two bedrooms faced the back yard, and the only way to access the yard was through one of them.

We decided on building backyard studio just steps away, that would contain construction separate from their house while ultimately providing the additional space they needed. The structure is a simple form that takes advantage of a western exposure with high windows and a loft that captures sky-line views. Triple-sliding doors open up the space to the yard and make backyard entertaining easy. Windows on all four sides create a warm, naturally lit space at all times of day. The palette is also simple, with smooth cement plaster and corrugated corten steel accents. The interior floors are acid stained concrete, and tile in the bathroom. A redwood loft warms up the space. At about 400sf, it’s just enough space to make a difference in how they inhabit their property. The kids have a hangout and future teenage space, the family can entertain without people traipsing through the house, and they have a vacation home just steps away!

Engineer: Mehdi Karimi, STG Inc. Photographer: Kat Alves Photography Contractor: Canivet Construction


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