duendepr.com news Silverlake Conservatory of Music by Barbara Bestor

Silverlake Conservatory of Music by Barbara Bestor


Bestor Architecture’s design for the new Silverlake Conservatory of Music at 4652 Hollywood Boulevard is a vibrant musical village enclosed within the shell of a classic and ubiquitous Hollywood bowstring truss warehouse.


SCM, a non-profit music education center, opened their doors 15 years ago and is reestablishing themselves with a permanent new home on Hollywood Boulevard. Designed to support a community of children, adult students, and musicians, free-standing pods are inserted into the warehouse to form a village-like collection of music studios, practice rooms and teaching spaces underneath skylights.

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A friendly lobby and music shop opens to the street and connects to the bustle of this burgeoning stretch of Hollywood Boulevard, public transportation lines, and local schools. The original brick walls from 1931 have been carefully restored and the wood bowstring truss ceiling has been refreshed to bring warmth and materiality to an interior that is now a light-filled temple of music and creativity.

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Driven by the need for superior acoustics, the 13 lesson/practice rooms are insulated by double walls and gaskets around windows and doors. Light fixtures are made of wood instead of metal, and carpet absorbs sound from instruments. The large dedicated performance space, which is open to the public and can accommodate 150 guests, is flexible enough to showcase musical performances that range from classical to rock to choir.


A parent lounge and music store faces Hollywood Boulevard securing SCM as an exciting hub of activity on one of LA’s best pedestrian streets. The adjacent landscaped parking can also be used for events and performances. There is color and vibrancy throughout the space- reflecting the energized atmosphere of SCM’s creative faculty and students.


SCM’s new home triples the capacity of the old space and allows the music conservatory to double its eligible scholarship student roster and offer more music programming for the kids and adults who attend lessons at the Conservatory. The Silverlake Conservatory of Music is a non-profit 501 c3 community music school and serves 35% of their total student body with fully subsidized scholarships for children who qualify for the free lunch program through LAUSD.


 Silverlake Conservatory of Music was founded by Michael ‘Flea’ Balzary, Keith Barry, and Pete Weiss in 2001 to fill the gap in music education and provide lessons, instruments, and creative musical outlets to primarily children but people of all ages are welcome to participate. SCM provides lessons in a multitude of instruments, choirs, orchestras, and summer school and camp programs for kids, songwriting workshops and more.


Bestor Architecture is an architectural practice dedicated to finding transformative design opportunities in daily life experience. Barbara Bestor developed a varied and progressive body of work over the last fifteen years that engages, amuses and communicates with people on many levels, often outside the boundaries traditionally delineated for architecture. She has completed numerous influential public spaces, design installations and commercial establishments as well as a book on design and community, “Bohemian Modern.” The office is dedicated to expanding architecture through culture, reclaiming the larger territory of design to bolster its architecture’s ability to communicate.


Silverlake Conservatory of Music Materials :

Bathrooms covered in custom wallpaper designed by Bestor Architecture

Floors: Cork: Gerbert Limited

Paint: Interior: Atrium White, Benjamin Moore; Blackboard and Whiteboard Paint: Rust-Oleum

Wood: plywood paneling

Tile: Dal Tile: Arctic White; Cle Tile: cement tile

Carpet: Tretford: Dapple Grey

Lighting: Decorative Swing Arm Wall Sconce: rejuvenation Hardware “Reed:

Decorative wall sconce: Schoolhouse Electric Supply & Co

Pendant mounted neutral white downlight in group lesson rooms: WILA

Dimmable decorative pendant: CB2

Decorative fixture in gallery: Rejuvenation Hardware “Laurelhurst”

Dimmable decorative pendant in ensemble space: Niedhardt

LED High Bay in ensemble space: Cooper Lighting by Eaton

Silverlake Conservatory Credits:

Architect: Bestor Architecture

Team: Barbara Bestor, FAIA, Bianca Gavrila, Henry Cheung, Elinor Nissley

Landscape Design: Bestor Architecture

Team: Michelle Frier

Structural Engineering: RSE Associates

Contractor: Shangri-La Construction

Photographer: Laure Joliet and Ray Kachatorian