Sonic Union, New York

Designed by: RAW-NYC Architects
For client: SONIC UNION Floor area: 278.70 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: Small Office of the Year

Public Score
6.43 Function
6.52 Innovation
6.52 Creativity
© Lester Ali

About the Project

The Sonic Union's two sound recording studios referred to as “PLAYGROUNDS” overlook a park in Manhattan with the interior space exemplifying the designer’s iconoclastic approach to space design while referencing aspects of the park that it overlooks.

Sonic Union on Bryant Park (Playground 2):

Located in Midtown Manhattan, the epicenter of business with its own ecosystem of interconnected businesses; the designer envisioned interconnecting major landmarks in the neighborhood and bringing this ecosystem indoors. Irregular polygons created a spatial environment connecting the triangulated surfaces that expand throughout the space defining and crafting the main architecture while forming perfectly soundproof audio recording rooms.

A holding space in the form of a circle in the corner overlooking Bryant Park was reserved. It was intended for this void to be used by different artists at different times for sidewalk 3D graffiti art. The artists are free as to how they interpret references to the water reservoir that dates back to 1847, and the water fountain in Bryant Park. This space acts as a social space recalling the memory of the reservoir and the fountain thus turning the “outside” significance in. Through this act, shared experiences between clients, staff and the public are created in an urban interior environment of social interaction while celebrating the client’s motto of “Record. Mix. Play.”

What’s unique about it

- Common Theme: Sonic*Union on Bryant Park shares similar approach to Sonic*Union on Union Square Park by creating an internal urban environment that references the park it overlooks.
- Functionality: The project strategically maximizes the use of space allowing lots of natural light to filter in. Three major recording studios, a smaller studio, kitchen, sound booths and open workspaces all were accommodated within 3,000 square feet.
- Innovative Approach: The design presents a unique response to its context, to the history and the memory of Bryant Park being a water reservoir. The approach is bold in the way it re-defines the architecture of sound recording studios while creating social place for interaction. Custom software tools were developed for accurate rapid iterations through the design/fabrication process.
- Use of resources: The design maximized the use of resources, costing only $341 per sq.ft while accommodating state-of-the-art specification for sound studios. Existing flooring was reused to save cost on the budget.
- Acoustical Privacy: Part of the approach was to separate the sound rooms allowing the 3d tessellation to flow between the spaces. This achieved higher sound performance as compared to typical rooms with shared walls.
- Client’s culture: Understanding the client's culture created the synergy needed to best represent the client in the design of their work environment. This resulted in the client hiring the same designer seven years later.

© Lester Ali
R Evamp Pic
© Travis Mark
© Lester Ali
© Lester Ali
© Lester Ali
© Lester Ali

Location of project:
RAW-NYC Architects

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