Enjoying the Church Studio 2 live room are (l-r): Dirk Noy, WSDG partner; Paul Epworth, producer/studio owner; John Storyk, co-principal, WSDG; Pete Hofmann, technical director, Miloco Builds; Beth Walters, co-principal, WSDG. Photo: Vicky Taylor
London, UK (December 3, 2014)—While originally built as a massive stone church in 1855, London’s The Church Studios has become a hit-making factory since its conversion to a recording facility in 1984. Originally owned by producer/Eurythmic Dave Stewart and then later artist David Gray, the building was purchased in 2013 by producer Paul Epworth (Adele, Coldplay, U2, Lorde, Paul McCartney), who immediately embarked on a considerable renovation of the site. Now stage one of the effort has been completed, reconfiguring the Studio 2 live and control rooms and creating a new Writing Room as well.
When Epworth bought the facility last year, he’d recently worked at Anne Mincieli’s Jungle City in New York; taken by that studio, he reached out to its architect/acoustician John Storyk and WSDG. “I was very impressed with the feel and the monitoring of Jungle City,” said Epworth, “and wanted to be the first to build a WSDG/Augspurger room in London to meet the needs of both British and international artists, producers and engineers. Bringing WSDG in to design two of their world-renowned rooms was the first step and the collaboration with Miloco [supervising construction and operations] has been an incredibly successful team effort.”
Today, the new, 961-square-foot Studio 2 features a completely recapped SSL 4000G console, custom WSDG/Augspurger monitors and a sizable amount of outboard gear. The ‘Space Age’ 267-square-foot Writing Room, designed from the ground up by WSDG, sports an Equinox summing mixer, a 20-channel Neve sidecar and complete access to The Church’s vintage gear collection. Following the design and construction stage, WSDG partners Dirk Noy and Renato Cipriano flew to London from Basil, Switzerland and Belo Horizonte, Brazil respectively, to perform final measurements, confirm acoustic accuracy and fine tune the new rooms.
“After building hundreds of idiosyncratic studios around the globe over the past 45 years, The Church marks our first footprint in London,” Storyk remarked. “We customized an extremely effective system for him. Paul also worked closely with my business (and life) partner Beth Walters on an LED mood lighting system with a vastly programmable color palate. Installed in the totally white Studio 2 Control Room and Studio 3 Writing Room, the system provides infinite mood enhancing color options; it’s a huge aesthetic boon to creativity.”
The result is a studio facility that both meets Epworth’s needs and the expectations of his clientele, as the producer noted: “The Church provides nearly 8,000-square-feet of recording space over three very different rooms, including rare and vintage recording gear married to the most modern digital and analog equipment to give users the freedom to indulge their creative impulses instantly.” Still in the planning stages for future renovation, Church Studio 1 is an 800-square-foot tracking room with a triple-height ceiling and a vintage 72-channel EMI Neve console, credited with recording such albums as Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.
Walters-Storyk Design Group
The Church Studios