goko turns a 1920s mexican house into a chapel-like recording music studio

goko turns a 1920s mexican house into a chapel-like recording music studio

mexican design firm goko transformed a 1920s house in mexico city into a warm and cozy music studio. music studios have a tendency to be closed, cold, visually saturated and artificially lit spaces that lead to no sunlight, no spatial circulation and no inspiration. therefore, the firm decided to approach the project differently to create a space to inspire musicians.

all images by fernando marroquin 



the designers took the japanese idea of ‘ma’, which is a space that creates the transition between the noise of the city and the interior of the studio. the entrances is through a very dark, acoustically isolated tunnel with an atmospheric sound triggered by the body’s own movement. hard to see the surroundings in a low light, the architect created a paradox that references old studio’s lighting. a couple of feet away at the end of the tunnel, lie two doors that lead visitors to the chapel.




in the double height central room goko opened a ‘sky space’ over the dome to inject natural sunlight into the core of the project. to emphasize the sky dome, the surrounding walls are inclined in different angles so the light floods the space in an almost spiritual way.




the architect designed a visual sequence between all the interior recording spaces. these include the control room, recording booth and a double height room, although these are three different acoustic rooms, divided by folding acoustic glass doors. the creation of three jungle like-gardens, one on the front, one on the back and the third on the rooftop, create framed views of nature into all of the spaces.




acoustically, goko developed a system to hide all the wooden, irregular wall tiles that are normally seen at recording studios. this creates a visually clean, wooden and striped space. through this system the designers also hid all the acoustic requirements of the project on the back of the walls and the door design, integrating the same pattern into unify the space. this way, when doors are closed they disappear into the wooden acoustic wall pattern.




on the second floor terrace, a rooftop with lots of vegetation was inserted. a perimeter bench was built around the sky dome and an interior lounge space for their users to go up relax and have a drink. chapel studios integrates and solves any musician’s need and want. here, they can host an album-release cocktail on the terrace, record an album in the wooden space, receive a foreign producer for a couple of months stay on the first floor bedroom for album production, or to have a creative song writing composition space for the band to get inspired.



project info:


project name: chapel studios
location: mexico city
architectural design: christopher koehn / GoKo
acoustic design: omar saad / saad acústica
project manager & 3D: jetro centeno
drawings: gabriel azuara
woodwork: di. daniela santoscoy / co-crear espacios
landscape design: paloma martínez
lighting design: martin leal, lampe



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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