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Concordia University Irvine’s New WSDG-Designed Recording Studio Teaching Complex

IRVINE, CA – Concordia University Irvine (CUI’s) recently completed WSDG Walters-Storyk Design Group designed recording studio/teaching facility has quickly proved itself a locus for music production education within the campus’s new 37,500 square foot Borland-Manske Center.   Commissioned in 2017, and funded by private donations, the $35M complex became fully operational in the fall of 2019.


At the dedication, CUI Assistant Dean, Schools of Arts & Sciences Jeff Held (D.M.A.) remarked,  “The Borland-Manske Center is a premium music learning center for Southern California that will help draw top students from across the country and around the world to Irvine.  Our students spend every day immersed in the highest quality sound, working with the finest music production tools in the industry.”


The 1,110 square foot complex houses a recording, teaching and rehearsal space.  Thanks to Concordia’s proximity to the Los Angeles music industry the studio is providing a facility for students, professors and artists to collaborate in an environment that meets the music industry’s highest technical and acoustical standards.  Choral and instrumental ensembles, along with students in the Music Department’s newest major, Commercial Music, are engaging the recording studio, which is anchored by a new 32-channel Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console. The comprehensive curriculum is designed to prepare students for careers in musical performance, songwriting, composing for media (TV, film and gaming) and music production.  Concordia’s music program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree for music majors with concentrations in commercial music, composition, church music,  music education, instrumental, piano and vocal performance.


WSDG COO/Project Manager, Joshua Morris reports that the firm also designed the acoustics for Concordia’s new Borland-Manske Center and that WSDG Systems Design Engineer, Judy Elliot Brown and Project Engineer, Andy Swerdlow also played key roles in the project.  WSDG has created educational recording complexes for such major schools as NYU and Berklee College of Music, and has provided integral acoustic designs for NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center and Switzerland’s KKL Luzern Concert Hall as well as recording studios for Jimi Hendrix, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen.


“CUI’s new Borland-Manaske Center was a particularly ambitious assignment,” Morris says.  “The main floor houses a 2,250 square foot orchestra hall, a 1,900 square foot choral rehearsal hall, a percussion room and a piano instruction room.  The lower floor features an 820 square foot live recording room with three isolation (ISO) booths, a 290 square foot control room, a spacious 835 square foot classroom, nine practice rooms, an open office suite, faculty offices an event space, conference and breakout rooms.   The studio is linked to the orchestral and choral rehearsal rooms, allowing multiple ensembles to record simultaneously. The top floor accommodates practice rooms, and faculty studios for special practice and instructional tutorials,” Morris concludes.


Overall design for the three-level Borland-Manske Center was provided by Bauer Architects of Newport Beach, CA.  Construction was completed by Irvine-based  Snyder Langston, and  AV integration was provided by Procraft.

“Concordia University Irvine’s new audio education and production complex represents the epitome of contemporary audio education and production planning,” remarked WSDG Founding Partner John Storyk.  “Our design engineers engaged acoustic modeling, measurement and instrumentation tests and programs to predict and pre-tune the acoustics and auralization throughout the building. We are confident that this facility will play a significant role in preparing the next generation of educators, musicians, recording artists and production professionals for 21st Century careers.” 



For over 50 years, acoustic consulting and A/V integration firm WSDG has designed over 3,500 media production facilities worldwide and counting. Projects range from Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studio and Jazz At Lincoln Center in New York, to broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET, over twenty teaching studios for The Art Institutes, and corporate clients such as Sony, IBM and Novartis. Recent credits include Jungle City in New York, The Church Studios in London, private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys and Academy Award-nominated film composer Carter Burwell. WSDG has collaborated with such noted architects as Frank Gehry, Philippe Stark, Rafael Viñoly, Santiago Calatrava, Grimshaw, and Norman Foster.  An eleven-time winner of the prestigious pro audio NAMM TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design, WSDG maintains U.S. offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Miami and global offices in Barcelona, Basel, Berlin, Belo Horizonte, Buenos Aires, Guangzhou, Mexico City and Mumbai.