Inside Original Music Workshop

    The Original Music Workshop building is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on the corner of Wythe Ave and North 6th Street, one subway stop from Manhattan, one block from the East River.

    Designed by the Brooklyn-based design firm Bureau V with architect-of-record Slab Architecture, the Original Music Workshop building is characterized by the insertion of an acoustically-driven, geometrically complex chamber hall within an existing, graffitied, one hundred year old post-industrial shell of a former sawdust factory. The building combines an act of preservation with state-of the-art new construction, shaping a space that is both reverent and irreverent, both historic and progressive.

    The performance hall, a crystalline form comprised of perforated steel panels and recessed structural channels, is a double-height space with surrounding balcony. The space contains no trap doors, fly spaces, wings, or curtains; rather, it is fundamentally and simply a chamber hall. The simplicity of the room is supported and augmented by an elaborate acoustic and theatrical design by Arup. Behind the visually opaque, but acoustically transparent walls of the performance space sits a series of variable acoustic treatments that allow the space to be tuned to the specificity of instrumentation. In addition, the venue utilizes acoustically isolated box-in-box construction that enables the entire performance space to meet the low background noise levels of the world’s finest recording studios. The space includes a state-of-the-art audio system, theatrical lighting infrastructure, a video projection system, and a variable staging system.

    Seating up to 170 patrons (ca. 350 standing), the space offers an intimate experience for the concertgoer with the performers as well as with fellow concertgoers.

    The performance space is also engineered for recording up to a full 70-person orchestra with integrated recording and broadcasting infrastructure, two isolated mixing rooms and a video editing room.

    Outside the performance space, the venue includes a double-height lobby with a bar, separated from the concert hall by a massive vertically sliding acoustic door. The venue also houses an independently operated two story, 74-seat restaurant. Back of house spaces also include a green room and administrative offices.

    The Original Sawdust Factory