The Yeezy Studio in Calabasas is just as meticulously designed as each pair of shoes that the label produces. The 1970s-era two-story concrete building is more of a secret bat-cave than an office front. The corrugated cement formwork and black-mirrored glass looks identical to the six or seven other buildings close by. The differences begin when you step inside.
In the studio, there are rows and rows of muted grey shelves, standing in stark opposition to the cream-white walls and cement-toned floors. The building’s designer describes the interior’s influences as; brutalism, essentialism, postmodernism, and utilitarianism – quite a mouthful, but also an interesting mix to inhabit a workspace.
The beauty of this structure lies in the details. According to the architect, the deep level of attention paid to the minor parts of the facility stem from Kanye’s desire to make everything practical and useful. This is best displayed in elements like the thick table legs grounding working surfaces in the office. These pieces look like I-bean flanges, but are actually made out of MDF and wood veneer, a postmodern touch that reduces cost, improves structural soundness, and shows another element of West’s genius, his ingenuity.
Designing an entire studio around someone else’s ideals cannot be easy but the impressive team of engineers, designers, and architects that made the Yeezy Studio at Calabasas into a reality did a brilliant job of that. Not only did that capture the intricacies of Kanye’s complicated nature, but they made the artistic structure into a functional work space as well.
With each successive room as impressive as the last, it is easy to forget that this is a place of business and not just a gallery. Yeezy’s vision is just as illusionary as it is honest. The nearly 15,000-foot studio is a think tank that doubles as a production facility and provides and fresh look into the mind of one of the most enigmatic superstars of our generation.
Maybe the head designer on this project said it best when he remarked, “The weird thing about all the fancy shit, all this fragile shit, is everything is going to go. Like all your beautiful mahogany, it’s going to go. The outer coating of a lot of this stuff is going to go and what remains is elemental.” For the same reason, countless other designers and artists will continue to fail, while Yeezy remains present.