Heirloom Farm Studio | Bushman Dreyfus Architects | World Design Awards 2022

Bushman Dreyfus Architects: Winner of World Design Awards 2022. This small structure, located in Bundoran Farm–a unique sustainable residential community on a working farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia–an art studio, an exercise room and a place to practice and rehearse on the drum kit. In other words, a getaway from the owners’ busy city life. 

With the 2020 arrival of Covid-19 our clients were eager to leave Manhattan and spend more time in rural Virginia. The wife is a three-dimensional artist working in varied media. The husband plays drums in his free time. With the realization that pandemic life was the new normal came the need for more space, for living as well as making.

Adding onto an existing one-bedroom 18th-century log cabin was not an option. Any new freestanding structure had to be located within buildable area limits defined by the architectural guidelines of Bundoran Farm. After studying the topography of the 33-acre lot and opportunities for distant mountain views to the north and the west, the structure was sited on the high point of the lot, tucked between a pasture, an apple orchard, the existing cottage, and a second homesite area where a new house would be built in the future. Not knowing exactly where that house might be located or what it would look like, the studio had to be both proximate and complimentary. One year later that new house is under construction and the studio is nicely nestled into the view from it. With a new primary residence underway the log cabin becomes a guest cottage and the studio is a dedicated quiet space located between the two.

The simple, minimal, prismatic form of the building distills our Scandinavian barn inspirations into an essential and timeless vernacular. The sculptural form of the building is emphasized by the use of the same cladding system on the roof and the exterior walls. As one approaches the studio, the dark geometry resolves into individual slats of wood and the perceptions of the structure change quite a bit from distant to near. The color palette is kept to an absolute minimum using dark-stained poplar slats for both wall and roof. The wood is thermally-treated for permanence. The cladding system is sectional and designed to be removable. The vertical slats are attached to horizontal battens, aligned on all elevations, roof and entry door. Behind carefully detailed and rigorously spaced wood slats is a black UV-stable waterproofing membrane.

The interior is an unembellished working space painted white. It is equipped with adjustable ceiling track lighting and a walk-in art supply closet across the south wall. Large windows light the room from three sides and provide a 270-degree view of the surrounding pasture and mountains, with western exposures shaded by the adjacent mature oak trees. The south wall remains solid to afford privacy from the vehicular driveway and to protect the room from direct southern sun. Functionally it made sense to put the entry door in that wall because of the proximity to the cottage.

Project Details
Bushman Dreyfus Architects

Jeff Dreyfus

Project Name
Heirloom Farm Studio

World Design Awards Category
Small Building Built

Project Location
North Garden

Jeff Dreyfus, Aga Saulle

United States

Photography ©Credit
©Virginia Hamrick Photography

Bushman Dreyfus Architects is a medium-sized architectural firm located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our firm has both the extraordinary responsiveness of a small organization and the knowledge and depth of a larger one. BDA has a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from community centers to vineyards, from houses to theaters, and from schools to multi-family housing. We focus not on a particular size or type of project, but rather on creating partnerships with clients to build a better community, enrich lives, enhance the environment, and make something beautiful. Our care and devotion to purpose is the same for everything we undertake.