Our mission for the revived King Records is to provide an inclusive and accessible space for the Evanston community that honors and celebrates the legacy of the original building and recording artists while looking ahead to the future of music through educational programs and performance experiences.
When considering how to connect the past to the future experientially through the building, we thought of how one would start with little to no experience and become a star. This led us to focus on three main spaces to create.
First, an exhibition space, for the community to learn about the history and impact of the original King Records on the music industry Second, educational spaces comprised of practice rooms to begin your education through lessons and classes and recording studios to produce your own music. Third, a performance venue for students to show off their talents and bring the community together. Our versatile design also allows for multi-functional spaces in the performance venue as well as the exhibition space.
Our floor plan is set up to take you through your musical journey - entering into the exhibition on the south west corner of the building, into the spaces intended for students to learn and produce their own music, and around into the performance venue which doubles as a café during the day. To show the intended circulation path, we created a lighting that not only resembles the grooves on a record, but guides the users through each of the spaces, exploding in the performance venue signifying coming “full circle” and bringing the community together.
When considering the exterior, we wanted the front façade to keep as much true to the original building as possible. The only changes were building out the wall where the current loading dock is, adding paint, and closing up some of the windows while adding windows where the garage doors used to be. We added large signage that would light up at night to be able to draw attention from I-71. The mural is a song title and lyric by Little Willie John that we thought created a dialogue between the building and the community - where the community fills the building up with love and no matter where any student or community goes, they’ll always have their love of King Records.