Bestor Architecture completed work late last year on new facilities for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, a music education organization started by Michael “Flea” Balzary of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, music educator Keith Barry, and producer-engineer-mixer-musician Pete Weiss in 2001. The organization helps fill the growing lack of arts education and offers paid classes for the community’s youth as well as fully subsidized scholarships for public school students who qualify for their free lunch program.
The conservatory is located in a 1931 warehouse that has been carefully restored by the architects. An extant wood bowstring truss roof caps the expansive and well-lit interior, while new construction is distributed via faceted volumes that contain 12 practice rooms. These rooms are insulated for sound, featuring double walls and gaskets around windows and doors. Surrounding surfaces made of plywood, cork, and carpeted in certain areas, have also been calibrated to absorb sound.
A mezzanine platform overlooks new volumes that create what Barbara Bestor, principal at Bestor Architecture, has described as an “urban village.” The remaining nooks and crannies created by the resulting geometries are populated by hang-out spaces and can be utilized as a concert hall that holds up to 150 guests.