2000                  CHRISTOPHE BECK STUDIO, SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA

This small music writing and recording studio occupies a brick warehouse space in a light-industrial area. Designed for a successful composer, the facility serves as a personal workspace for film and television soundtracks.

The architectural concept has a dual focus: to utilize and guide the available natural light and to arrange the enclosed rooms inside the building envelope as a three-dimensional landscape. Thus, the positive volumes are stacked for spatial effect and natural circulation flow, while the remaining negative space of the open areas is itself carefully shaped. Thanks to existing openings in the roof and walls, daylight is guided around and into the building blocks of the program. The composition of the volumes and spaces reinforces the natural light and increases the spatial interest and complexity with very few and limited elements.

The sound lock, the pivotal element in the spatial arrangement, accesses the main studio spaces and blocks direct sound transmission from the common areas and between studios. Its glass cube serves as the focal point for the negative space and common areas around the stacked volumes. The access ramp leads up to the lounge, but is transformed from a pure circulation area into a habitable space. The tilted wall of the main control room is acoustically derived, but opens up the ramp space. Galvanized metal sheathing, raw steel, painted concrete floors and glass evoke the space’s industrial heritage.

Inside the studio the rooms are more refined, responding to the acoustical needs and comfort level desired during long sessions. The small but crucial recording space is placed in the center of the closed spaces. Acoustically isolated, it receives natural light through its skylight, windows and glazed door. Axial symmetry, frequency response, and a large reflection-free zone determine the layout of the main control room. This room is positioned to take advantage of two symmetrically placed skylights in the rear, which are then matched with more glass in its isolation shell.

Research into the owner’s working methods and use of equipment, along with adherence to his strict ergonomic guidelines, has produced moveable video monitors, equipment racks and keyboards. Arranged for maximum flexibility, the equipment furniture, shelves and racks are custom-designed to fit the space and the specific circumstances of the program.

building use: personal composing studio facility          
project scope:    architectural design, interiors, acoustics, furnishings
schedule:  completed 2000
construction cost:         N/A