1996               BRANDON’S WAY, HOLLYWOOD, CA

A typical problem exists for recording studio projects in Los Angeles and elsewhere. The build-out and content of these buildings is by definition expensive and delicate, with high-profile owners and clients coming and going at all times of the day. On the other hand, real estate and building requirements dictate locations in industrial and urban areas, where costs and available structures are more feasible.

This private production facility of one of the most accomplished composers, producers and artists in popular music fits that profile perfectly. The building faces a busy street and keeping a low profile with a simple, straightforward design is part of a strategy to avoid unwanted attention. The respective requirements of occupants and technology led to a design with a cold, hard shell on the outside enveloping a warmer and softer inside build-out. The dichotomy between these two aspects is at the core of the design, as is the need to integrate highly technical equipment into a comfortable creative environment.

Responding to its context of stucco, chain link fences, utility poles and billboards, a perforated metal screen covers he front of the building, enclosing a planter and protecting new windows. Slightly angled, the screen sets up the acoustically derived angles within. Exterior walls are covered in smooth gray plaster, completing the monochrome scheme.

Inside, the dark gray floor plane continues, but is complemented by fabric panels, carpet, stained mahogany and bird’s eye maple, granite, aluminum and stainless-steel trim pieces. The proportions of the studio rooms are carefully calculated, and acoustic devices are used throughout. Soffits give the rooms their shape and control the sonic performance. Low-frequency absorbers and acoustic diffusors are concealed there, as well as ductwork and lighting. A combination of hard and soft finish surfaces tune the rooms acoustically and give them their final appearance.

The entire facility is conceived to seamlessly integrate a highly complex and technical apparatus within a luxurious and enjoyable environment, yet remain hidden away from public view. The technological apparatus within a luxurious and enjoyable environment, yet remain hidden away from public view. The technological requirements of the equipment, the acoustics of the spaces, and the ergonomic of the users, and the visual and spatial impact of the architecture are balanced to form a workplace conducive to the creative process of the artists.

building use: music recording, audio and videopost production          
project scope:    5,000 sf; architecture, interiors, acoustics
schedule:  completed 1996
construction cost:         not available