Converting the studio into an office
Deservedly not shy about extolling his own talents, Tusa says that he also acted as general contractor in converting the studio into an office for his firm.
He first removed a divider wall near the entry, formerly a darkroom, and uncovered three boarded-up windows. Then he inserted a kitchenette, using excess square footage to gain room for an additional workstation.
In the departed photographer’s dressing room for fashion models, Tusa installed his private office. Other interventions involved repositioning a sink and new air-conditioning units.
The architect’s forte–it borders on obsession–is what might be called productive rehabilitation
He loves to take old things and recast them in fresh guises, to take apart and reconfigure all kinds of furnishing components. He’ll reuse goods brought along from former studios as well. At his new aerie, he was in his kaleidoscopic element. Furnishings were bought at retail and second-hand sources or found on-site and recycled to serve new purposes.
While settling in, for instance, Tusa discovered a shoji-type folding screen. He peeled off the rice paper, pressed the grid against another found object–a makeup mirror–and recessed the double-layered piece into Sheetrock. The objective was effect. Who needs pricey art?
Among other leftovers, panels of brushed metal laminated to wood are now used as work surfaces and countertops. A reclaimed painter’s easel acts as a pinup board or mobile partition.
And three pedestals originally for photography props now support such building models as a dandy likeness of Grand Central Terminal. (No, Tusa didn’t compete for the renovation job. It Was a prospective racquetball facility under the terminal’s roof that he solicited and won.)
Art Studio Artist Home Office Remodel
Perhaps the most decisive factor in Tusa’s making the move to the top is the slightly concave end wall that he calls the cyclorama–a 19th-century term for a curved plane with images affixed so as to create a three-dimensional effect. He lined the expanse with metal-edged homosote panels in such a way as to serve as display boards for his firm’s various works in progress.