McDean Studios

4,000 SF
New York, NY

The project was a con­ver­sion of an office space into a working pho­tog­raphy studio for a fashion pho­tog­ra­pher. The space is located on the second floor of a typ­ical loft building within the Flat­iron Dis­trict of Man­hattan. The design attempts to (re)present the orig­inal fea­tures of the loft while cre­ating a clear layout for all the func­tional needs of the studio staff.More

Orig­inal fea­tures restored in the design include the gen­erous spa­tial volume of the loft, the orig­inal maple flooring, cast iron radi­a­tors and the restora­tion of indus­trial metal sash win­dows at the rear and the large wood pivot win­dows at the street wall.

Along the front wall are a new glass enclosed meeting room and library, open work areas and an editing room. Along a side wall are other sec­ondary func­tions like the kitchen, bath­room and a large storage area for equip­ment and archival mate­rials. These sec­ondary rooms are enclosed behind by a long matte black wall which is inter­rupted only by a white pin up area.

At the center of the studio is a large cyclo­rama used for shoots. Two heavy black out cur­tains line both sides and pro­vide a way to con­trol day­light. To allow deeper shooting con­di­tions, two large sliding doors in the black wall are cen­tered on the cyclo­rama, allowing the pho­tog­ra­pher to repo­si­tion the camera away from the subject.

In the overall black and white aes­thetics of the design is a deeper asso­ci­a­tion with the work of the pho­tog­ra­pher. In this project the “Gesamtkunst­werk” extends to the architecture.