Kraków University makes hot records in new studio

A former boiler room located in a leading Polish university has been transformed into a high-end recording facility complete with Genelec 1034B main monitors in its control room. Created to inspire and aid the training of future sound engineers, the studio is part of the AGH – University of Science and Technology in Kraków, and marks the reinvention of a once derelict space.

Renowned as a destination for studying audio, the Kraków AGH – University of Science and Technology has long sought to repurpose the building, which fell into disrepair in the 1990s after its original use as a boiler room for campus canteens was rendered redundant. A number of aborted projects followed including a cinema and a storage area for the nearby Klub Studio live music venue. Ultimately, Łukasz Jura, CEO of the Academica Foundation which manages the building, hatched the idea of creating a studio.

Working with the head sound engineer of Klub Studio, Kuba Popiela, Jura set about visiting a number of studios internationally as he crafted his vision for the creative space. Courtesy of an acoustic design by Paweł Małecki (a PhD alumni of the University), that vision is now a reality. As part of a full refurbishment of the building, the studio’s floor has been raised while new walls and a new roof have been constructed.

While the former boiler room makes up the live recording space, the control room was constructed as an entirely new building with separate foundations. It was then enclosed within another (but still separate) layer of concrete, connected to the original building. Inside, visitors are greeted with a carefully styled and acoustically treated interior including wooden floors, absorptive elements, tuned space behind concrete panels, Schroeder diffusers and resonators in the walls. Within the control room, classic Genelec 1034B monitors (the forerunner of the 1234A SAM™ studio monitor) are positioned within specially created recesses within hidden concrete pillars.

Now a reality, the studio has proven itself as a vital part of the university’s cultural offering. It also been given a particularly suitable name – Kotłownia, which is Polish for “boiler room”.

Photos by Lukasz Kornafel.