Studio of Growing Ambitions

  • Collective homes

The long-cherished wish of a private painting studio became reality in the backyard. An unsightly shed grew to a light-filled studio with an attic. The side walls of the shed remained as silent witnesses for those who didn’t believe this would be possible.

Design Brief

After renovating the house and garden, a simple shed in the backyard was still without a function. At first glance, it offered few possibilities: it was small, uninsulated, with no foundation and a leaking roof. In addition, the function as a storage space had to be retained.

By replacing the roof and one of the facades with a light wooden volume, enough space was created for the owner’s business – giving painting workshops – at home.

Project Details

Rijnkade, Woerden, The Nederlands

2016 – July 2017

Renovation, key project

Project Leader
Pieter Graaff, Architect



Three of the four existing masonry walls remained standing. Within these contours, a new wooden volume was raised, creating an expressive relationship between new and old. The planks and slats of preserved wood give depth and rhythm to the simple volume.

By building on the existing shed, a studio with attic could be realized within a limited budget. Through the sophisticated detailing, the conservative local requirements are united with the desire to add an elegant building to the cluttered sea of sheds.


The interior is finished with multiplex panels in which LED lights, rails for paintings and an infrared radiation panel are embedded. The floor is equipped with electric underfloor heating and the tap water is heated with an electric boiler. With this the studio is all-electric and energy efficient.

Added Value

The clients have worked intensively with the project. Many design sessions have taken place at the kitchen table. The client’s youngest son made a model of the preliminary draft. A brother-in-law made a new stained-glass window.

The design took into account the option of expanding the studio later on with a bathroom. The project shows how unexpected possibilities can be added to the backyard with modest means.

Project Location

Related to
Painter's Studio Woerden

Projects, news and articles related to painter’s studio in Woerden

Stille ambities?
of bel 06–18539418