Kelsey Brookes' Studio

San Diego, CA.


The project is slotted into a narrow side yard off the primary residence, located on a quiet canyon defined road in the South Park neighborhood of San Diego. Programmatically, the structure replaces a previous dilapidated garage and adds a lofty art studio on top, which serves as the primary work space for the artist, Kelsey Brookes.

Access to the studio is through a narrow passage between the project and the existing house, terminating at the trunk of a large macadamia tree, where the lower level of the studio can be entered. A spiral stair, which preserves valuable wall and floor space, extends to the upper level where the 12′ high studio Is located. Three large domed skylights create an atmosphere of soft but plentiful natural light, while other strategic window placements establish a functional relationship with the surroundings and frame the nearby canyon views.

The architecture addresses the context by adapting to the scale and eclectic fabric of the neighborhood, drawing influences from the arts and crafts movement, which is a prominent architectural style in South Park dating back to the early 1900’s.

Kelsey Brookes’ studio is intended to enhance the working experience for the artist by providing a convenient yet highly adaptive creative environment that engages with the existing site conditions in a unique and meaningful way.

Photography: Onnis Luque