Mother Earth Living

Historic Cherokee Studios Redesigned as Green Apartments for Musicians

Long-time recording studio Cherokee Studios has been turned into green live/work lofts for musicians.
By Susan Melgren
October 2009 Web
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The redesigned Cherokee Studios will include 12 live/work lofts for musicians.
Photo Courtesy Lofts @ Cherokee Studios


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Decades of musical history are about to meet sustainability. Make way, Hollywood. Green design is making over the historic Cherokee Studios.

Originally operated out of a ranch home, Cherokee Studios officially opened its doors in 1975 when founders and brothers Dee, Joe and Bruce Robb took over the site from MGM records. For more than 30 years, the studio was a recording hub for major rock albums, and played host to such famous and diverse clients as David Bowie, Elton John, Madonna, Frank Zappa and Kanye West. By the time of its closing in 2007, Cherokee Studios had earned more than 300 gold and platinum albums—but its life in the music industry isn’t over yet.

Under the direction of REThink Development, a Los Angeles-based sustainable real estate developer, the historic recording studio has been turned into live/work lofts for musicians. The building, which includes an array of green features ranging from dual-flush toilets to drought-resistant landscaping, is expected to earn LEED Platinum status from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The new building features 12 units that range in size from modest flats to penthouses complete with recording studio spaces, established in hopes that the building will continue to carry on its musical legacy. The building has been designed to optimize natural ventilation and daylight. Other green features include low-VOC paints and finishes, high-efficiency tankless water heaters and Energy Star appliances. (VOCs are volatile organic compounds that outgas.)

To celebrate the building’s musical history and green future, REThink Development is hosting Rock-n-Platinum, a four-week design showcase that interprets music through design. The showcase will run from October 29 to November 19. Public tours will be held every weekend, and proceeds from the sales will go to the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles.

More about green music and LEED

• U2 guitarist David “The Edge” Evans hopes his new home will meet LEED Gold standards. Check it out.

• Read about how Jon Bon Jovi is working with Help USA to bring green housing to low-income families in New Jersey.

• Did you know that LEED requirements have changed? Check out LEED Version 3 to find out what’s new.








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