Husband-and-wife architects Luis Ibarra and Teresa Rosano, RA, LEED AP, didn't need a lot of elbowroom for their five-person firm, but they did want separate public and private realms for their at-home office. This 650-square-foot studio in the backyard does the trick.

The building's public entry connects directly to the street, bypassing the house completely. But a low window in the living room of the main house alerts the architects to a client's arrival. The one-room building also sits on axis for the best breezes. Its corrugated metal roof floats above the sub-roof to vent heat, and RASTRA insulated concrete forms serve as thick thermal walls.

Inside the studio, everyone sits together at one table. "We're all working in a close, collaborative manner," Rosano says of the plan, which, she adds, "also eliminates any hierarchical spaces."