1994 Winner - TEC Award for outstanding creative achievement in acoustics/facility design

The Record Plant, founded in the late 1960s, and one of Los Angeles’ most acclaimed recording studios, still enjoys a successful clientele of musicians, producers, and sound engineers. Although the original facility was damaged in a fire and later closed down, a new location was opened a short distance away in 1986.

Before the featured expansion was built, the relocated facility contained two studios in a seventies-influenced, woodsy recording-studio style. After an ownership change in 1991, three more studios with support and leisure spaces were added within the existing building, a simple concrete-block and wood-truss structure.

The expansion introduced a different level of architectural expression to the facility and tied a fractured and incomplete plan into a whole complex of working and leisure spaces.

The centerpiece of the new portion of the facility and the heart of the complex as a whole, is the large indoor atrium situated at the back of the building. The sixteen-foot high ceiling in the atrium was rebuilt with two large skylights along the full length of the space, flooding it with daylight from the north. To emphasize the outdoor feeling, a number of elements surrounding the main volume are reminiscent of the buildings around a town square. A client service counter, indicative of the attention paid to the customers, is clad in blue cement panels. A closed lounge is separated from the main space by a glass wall. A fountain and planter contribute to the casual sense of the space, and create a calming atmosphere for the kitchenette and bar. 

The new studios are complete and self-contained work and relaxation suites, and include personal lounges and amenities.

The new main recording space is visually connected to he control room; both of these rooms are then similarly connected to a vocal booth for the recording of individual tracks. In the studio’s raised ceiling, a beam remaining from the old structure is left exposed, and new acoustical block walls form the back corners and separated amplifier closets. The new mix room includes a vocal booth to the side, and a solid front wall, with a large recessed TV screen. Like the control room, it can be used for post-production of film and TV soundtracks as well as straight music mixing.

With these improvements, the facility’s reputation as the quintessential recording studio was restored, and the studio continues to attract “those who can go anywhere,” as the slogan has it.

building use: music recording and mixing, audio post production          
project scope:    6,500 sf; architecture, interiors, acoustics
schedule:  completed 1993, phase two 1994, phase three 1999
construction cost:         not available