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Music By Design

Last night the Red Bull Music Academy opened the doors of their new home in New York to a diverse crowd ranging from skateboard toting music lovers to architect Steven Holl. As if the allure of 38,000 square feet of state-of the art digs by Jeffrey Inaba and INABA wasn’t enough, Kairos, an exhibition of NY-based artists curated by Ken Farmer of Nuit Blanche was displayed throughout the space. Housing a lecture room, performance lounge, ‘living’ room and studios-a-plenty, the four-floor Chelsea location was recently completed, just in time for the Academy’s New York arrival.
Colorful mid-century style furnishings outfit the Red Bull Music Academy. © Greg Irikura 2013.

The Red Bull Music Academy is an industry-led symposium and workshop for 30 producers, deejays, and music artists selected from nearly 4,000 hopeful entries. For those not lucky enough to attend, RBMA also hosts music events throughout the city. The permanent space in New York will live on after the conference and serve as a (quite enviable) workspace for musicians and designers.

We were lucky enough to join Inaba on a personal tour of the lower floors (smaller work studios live on the 7th and 8th floors), along with Holl – quite the treat, as any questions we might have asked were preemptively answered by an engaging dialogue between the architects. (When the two aren’t designing buildings, they are both busy teaching at Columbia University.) The unique space was thoughtfully designed to encourage creative collaboration. Views outdoors and natural light were a crucial part of the development of the plan for each floor. This dictated a V-shaped layout on the ground floor, making for an expansive and welcoming lobby. Upstairs, in the work-pod/studios, an abundance of glass walls encourage open collaboration between semi-private work areas.

The space is open to the public today and tomorrow from 9am to 5pm. If the lure of a beautifully designed recording studio isn’t enough, the artwork of Olympia Scarry, Dylan Lynch, Chen Chen + Kai Williams, Michael Bell-Smith, Lizzi Bougatsos and others will be on display throughout the space, located at 218 W 18th Street in Chelsea.

Click through for images of the state-of-the-art space, along with some details we took away from our tour.

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