Opened in May 1989, Metropolis was planned from the outset as Europe’s market leading commercial recording complex. The project was started in 1984 by a team of producers and recording management who wanted to combine the best features of the greatest recording facilities around the world.
The project on discovery of the Chiswick Power House. Built in 1901 to provide power for the London Tram System, the Power House had been empty for nearly 70 years, being used only for storage. Because of its enormous empty hallways (the main hallway was 50 meters long, 20 meters wide and 25 meters high), abundant natural daylight, massive structure and classic design, the empty building provided an outstanding shell in which to build a completely new complex.
Unlike most studio projects which have to be fitted into the structure of an existing building, the Metropolis team were able to complete a completely new structure within a covered site. This allowed for ideal studio shapes, comfortable relaxing areas, abundant daylight in all studios, the best layout of machine rooms, technical and games areas and a fully fitted bar and restaurant.
It was the management’s objective to go beyond imitation of other good studios and develop a studio that in every detail would set new standards for the industry and the way recordings were made in the ‘90’s. After a year interviewing architects and acousticians, the final choice of team was highly original and contributes to Metropolis’s unique design. The team was lead by Metropolis directors, Carey Taylor, Karin Clayton and Gary Langan, who have extensive experience in the words greatest studios, architect Julian Powell-Tuck, whose work consistently won design awards and press coverage in the UK and Japanese acoustician Sam Toyashima.
After three years of painstaking design during which time dozens of ideas for the complex were explored, construction work began in January 1988. Opened in May 1989 the final result, a £7 million, five studio recording complex, has been widely praised in both the international design and music press and in the design community, having being nominated for a prestigious D,A&D award.