White Mark designs The Sanctuary at Albany – a “destination studio” in The Bahamas

A brand new luxury studio complex, The Sanctuary at Albany, has opened in The Bahamas.The facility has been designed by UK studio design consultancy White Mark and is located at Albany, a 600-acre luxury resort community on New Providence backed by the likes of Joe Lewis, golfers Tiger Woods and Ernie Els and Justin Timberlake.

The Sanctuary "powered by Monster Energy" sits along the harbour of Albany’s mega-yacht marina, surrounded by luxury residences designed by some of the world’s most renowned architects.

The project took four years to complete from start to finish and White Mark were involved from a very early stage, helping with equipment choices as well as studio design and acoustics alongside Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and studio director Ann Mincieli, owner of New York City’s Jungle City Studio and longtime engineer and studio coordinator for Alicia Keys.

The Sanctuary has six studios – a main control room and live room with two vocal booths, plus five smaller studios that are equipped with Pro Tools and Mac workstations. The control room is equipped with a 48-channel Solid State Logic Duality Delta console, custom Exigy monitors and a host of outboard gear including digital and many vintage pieces.

The oak-panelled live room has floor to ceiling windows overlooking the yacht harbour and this, along with the two booths, have clear lines of sight into the control room. There is also the Monster Energy Green Room, equipped with a kitchen, an outdoor courtyard with a hot tub and gas grill featuring a commissioned mural painting from famed street artist Kelly “Risk” Graval, and a Moët vending machine dispensing split bottles of its champagne.

Although The Sanctuary is intended as a destination studio for top artists, there is also a strong link with the education community, with the five smaller studios doubling as music technology classrooms. Through partnerships with top music programs such as the Berklee School of Music, Kennesaw State University’s Joel A. Katz Music and Business Program and other institutions, The Sanctuary offers academy-style teaching programs and scholarships to local Bahamian teens through the Bahamas Youth Foundation.

“This project was a truly special opportunity for all of us at White Mark,” said MD David Bell. “Starting with a “clean sheet of paper” to build on undeveloped land, working with one of the world’s very best architectural practices and having a budget available that is very rare in today’s world, combined to make the project unique. The result is a facility of which we are extremely proud.

"The accuracy of the control room, the incredible open and warm feel of the main live room and booths set against views that are beyond inspiring, contribute to a studio that brought together all that we have learned in our careers to date. The experience of hearing the first playing of the Steinway in the main live room will live with me for a long time. I hope that those who use the studio and take it forward feel the same, and I look forward to hearing from them as time passes.

“It’s impressive, both visually and acoustically,” he continued. “Just the idea of building a studio like this in today’s economic climate seemed like a brave thing to do, but when we saw what the owners were trying to achieve in terms of aesthetics, acoustic quality and location, we were blown away."

The project was conceived in a conversation with Albany resident Charles Goldstuck, entrepreneur, investor and founder and co-chairman of Hitco Entertainment, and Christopher Anand, managing partner of Albany.

“We chose White Mark because of their track record of working at the very highest level, attributed to their wealth of experience working worldwide,” said Goldstuck. “The relationship with Bjarke Ingels Group, our main architects, was vital and, in large part, contributed to the great synergy between the environment, structure and internal feel of the building – resulting in a wonderfully calm and inspiring creative space.”

Picture credit: Cheryl Fleming Photography