Stonorov Workshop is a design and building collaborative between husband and wife team Tolya and Otto Stonorov. I first came across their work on the pages of Dwell magazine. They had renovated a 100-year old, 400 square foot shack in Oakland, California (above). It was 2006 and they had both just left their jobs at small architectural firms to go out on their own. When I contacted them to see if I could revisit the house for Lifework I found they had moved to Alaska and embarked on a whole new building project. Here they discuss the move, designing a live/work space and how they established their studio.
You established the Stonorov Workshop in 2006. What led you and your husband Otto to that point? Going back a long ways, we both grew up around the same, Philadeplphia-based, family architectural heritage: our respective grandfathers worked on large social planning and design issues together; and our parents, independently, work(ed) in the fields of development and building. We met when we were 3 and 4, narrowly missed each other for a little over 20 years, and re-met again a year prior to attending graduate school together.