The Room is a film finishing studio housed within Technicolor facilities in New York City. Servicing films, documentaries and television, the studio includes three separately operated editing suites, a shared reception area and meeting spaces. The design of The Room aimed to create a unique work environment tailored to the specific needs and working habits of its users, while enhancing both the aesthetic experience and the functional - technical performance of the studio.
The new design of the studio created a two-fold spatial condition: isolated and separate editing suites on the one hand and a shared open ‘common’ space on the other. The editing suites appear as free standing objects, independent ‘worlds of their own,’ abstract cubes set within a larger loft-like space of movement and interaction. Acoustically and visually sealed, each suite is physically separated from the others and insulated by a double wall –floor-ceiling construction: a double envelope system with air and acoustic boards in between the interior and exterior envelop. While the interior envelope of the suite is designed to absorb sound and light, its exterior does the opposite –reflect light and sound back onto the larger common space. Cladded with back painted glass these exterior surfaces create a strong visual effect of reflecting images and an illusion of transparency. The heaviness and opacity of the suites physical construction is thus contrasted by a notion of lightness and dematerialization.
The play of contrast further shapes the experience of visiting and working in the studio. The enhanced interior condition of the suites, that eliminates external distractions to allow full attention on the screen, is met by the exposed, open and naturally lit ‘outer’ loft space, aligned with a series of large windows which brings the city closer into it. Within the single studio ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ become two distinct experiences of contrasting spaces, where the movement between them provides a sense of regeneration and relief. Furthermore the ‘outside’ common loft space is designed in black and white - a monochromatic palette of grays, creating a neutral break, a visual retreat from the focused color editing done within the suites. The transition between these spaces is marked by wide thresholds, which heighten the awareness of leaving the loft space and entering into the other ‘space of digital production’, into the world of film where realities are being constructed in virtual space.
Editors, colorists, visual effects artists, producers, directors, and film makers spend hours on end in these spaces, continuously refining the aesthetics of a project, concentrating on colors, sounds, and fine tuning of images. The design fully supports the ability to focus attention on the editing work, yet also transforms the visit to the studio into an aesthetic experience which both enhances and expresses the work being produced.