If Passive Home design is music to your ears, you’ll think architect Ryan Enschede‘s new Red Hook music studio deserves a standing ovation. The ambitious project will see an aging brick building in Brooklyn’s old shipyard district converted into an ultra-efficient structure that will seek certification from Germany’s renowned Passive House Institute.



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The mixed-use structure will include a music recording studio on the first floor and a residential apartment on the upper level. Working with passive design consultants, Zero Energy, Enschede started the project by gutting the original structure in order to refit the space to use radically less energy. Once completed, the music studio, which is being built with salvaged insulation, will use 90% less energy than a new building built to current code.

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The music studio is at the heart of the sustainable design, and according to Enschede, the structure will be completely off-grid. “The building is being renovated to house a sound studio dedicated to electronic music and digital sound art, with a focus on vintage electronics from the 1980s. As such, it is a place to make an essential human expression, electronically, in a new kind of harmony with nature. This music will literally be made from the sun. And it will have a place – it will be made and played and listened to here, in this building – whether or not the rest of the world has power.”

According to Enschede, the rooftop solar array will meet all of the building’s energy needs, making the project a net-zero construction. To ensure high-energy performance, intensive air-sealing will be used on the building’s envelope and high-performing windows and doors will be installed throughout the structure. A tiny air-to-air heat pump will heat and cool the building and fresh air circulation will be provided by a heat-exchanging ventilator. The building is also being constructed with various resiliency features designed to improve the structure’s durability in case of flooding.

+ Ryan Enschede

+ ZeroEnergy

Images via Ryan Enschede Studio