Layers of light bring out the architectural details of the studio and provide a creative setting. In-grade uplights highlight the texture of the axe-hewn timbers, while monopoints on the cross beams provide an accent of sparkle and tasklighting for the musicians.
Bruce Damonte Layers of light bring out the architectural details of the studio and provide a creative setting. In-grade uplights highlight the texture of the axe-hewn timbers, while monopoints on the cross beams provide an accent of sparkle and tasklighting for the musicians.


“What does beautiful lighting sound like?” That was the primary design question Jody Pritchard, principal and co-founder of San Francisco–based PritchardPeck Lighting, asked herself as she set out to illuminate a professional-quality recording studio in the Redwoods of Northern California. Designed as a retreat where the client could invite Bay Area musician friends to write and record music, the studio, a freestanding structure separate from the main house, is built inside the structural bones of a 19th-century barn that the owners found in New York and had shipped back west. Working with old timbers required a high level of coordination and on-site customization.

PritchardPeck Lighting


Adding to the challenge was the programmatic requirements of a recording studio. “The heart and soul of this project had to do with the function of the space, and they did not want the lighting to be the thing that disrupted the experience,” Pritchard says. Central to the experience are the natural surroundings, and the lighting is designed as if the studio was a spiritual gathering place. “That’s one of the reasons the ceiling is uplit,” she says. Extensive discussions with acousticians and numerous mock-ups helped to achieve a “sonically neutral” space: All of the fixture selections—a combination of halogen and LED sources—and wiring do not electromagnetically interfere with the recording equipment. The studio and control booth are wired independently from the main house, which is on a wireless system. All of which creates a quality to the space that is special. “There’s this magical moment,” Pritchard says, “when the doors are open and the sound of all the things that come with being outside become part of the music.” •

The recording studio's control booth.
Bruce Damonte The recording studio's control booth.
The recording studio is designed as a retreat in the Redwoods of Northern California where the client's musician friends can write and record music.
Bruce Damonte The recording studio is designed as a retreat in the Redwoods of Northern California where the client's musician friends can write and record music.

DETAILS

Project: Sonoma Recording Studio, Sonoma County, Calif. • Client: Withheld • Architect: Schwartz and Architecture, San Francisco • Lighting Designer: PritchardPeck Lighting, San Francisco • Project Size: 2,100 square feet • Project and Lighting Costs: Withheld • Code Compliance: California Title 24 • Watts per Square Foot: 1.57

Manufacturers

B-K Lighting: Delta Star monopoints at cross beams • GE Lighting: 37W IR MR16 lamps for downlights and monopoints • Lucifer Lighting: Zero Sightline downlights at drywall ceiling locations • Lutron: Grafik Eye QS control system with seeTouch keypads • MP Lighting: L05 Series in-grade uplights with 9W LEDs and custom 12-degree aiming angle at columns • Philips Color Kinetics: eW Cove QLX Powercore LED 30x60 degree uplights in wood beams