nonzero\architecture | Peter Grueneisen FAIA | The Barn Studio
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The Barn Studio

Malibu, California


The empty building shell, originally planned as a horse barn, was sitting unused on the residential property of a singer/songwriter and commercial studio owner in Malibu and provided a perfect location for his personal studio.


Divided up in a control and writing room and a recording booth, the built-out structure now features a state-of-the art studio facility, combined with the rustic atmosphere of it original purpose and the warm sound of vintage recording gear.


While the exterior was finished with rough-hewn wood planks and natural stone facing, the inside was treated with hay-colored fabric and reclaimed wood boards and battens. The wood, which was also milled to make a floor and deck and a built-in seating area, was salvaged from the Hollywood Bowl when its bench seating was recently replaced. Aged over decades in the iconic outdoors amphitheater and having witnessed countless great musical performances, the wood was a perfect match for this dedicated musician’s creative space. Even some of the carved seat numbers are repurposed at the back of the built-in bench.


While located away from city noise, soundproofing was thoroughly detailed and the acoustic properties inside the studio were carefully calibrated. Rounded wood planks were used to form diffusive wall surfaces and sliding panels on barn door hardware were installed to control reflections and views.


The outdoor deck with its ocean view serves as a relaxation area as well as a stage for intimate concerts for family and friends.


building use:

project scope:


construction cost:

personal music recording studio

architecture, interiors, acoustics, construction

completed 2016






Media Facilities, Work+Live