If you’ve ever shopped for home audio components in person at a retailer – whether it be speakers, amps, headphones, or receivers – one of the challenges faced for the discerning ear is accurately assessing sound quality. That’s because the open air and cavernous stores of most retailers are not set up to approximate the average residential settings. Wrensilva LA in West Hollywood’s Design District was designed in an attempt to scale down shopping for audio consoles by bringing the immersion down to an intimate level.
Located along the Pacific Design Center within an architecturally charming storefront painted deep green with large bay windows. Furnished to allow listening guests to literally take a seat in nearly every corner of the modest layout, the Wrensilva LA shop takes on the appearances of a design/decor destination rather than a home audio specialist. And considering its location in West Hollywood’s Design District, it’s an effort congruous to the home design focus of the design retail and trade neighborhood.
Wrensilva’s speciality since its founding in 2016 has been focused upon designing and constructing hand-built hifi record consoles emphasizing an attention to its decorative footprint on equal footing to the audio performance. Steeped in the classic design language of mid-century style, the console systems aren’t mere reproductions of yesterday. With just enough contemporary detailing paired with technology upgrades of today, they bridge the era of vinyl directly with wireless options such as Sonos and Bluetooth. The showroom is intended to contextualize the listening experience into a “cozy library” and “minimal gallery” setting.
Designed by Studio Collective, the shop is furnished as an aesthetically pleasing space, accentuating the feel of listening within a home rather than a shop. Details include cork tile panels installed across the ceiling to absorb rather than reflect sound; similarly custom millwork shelves backed with velvet fabric panels to help improve the acoustics of the room. Even if you’re there to merely window shop, you might leave with an idea or two about how to improve your own acoustics back at home.
Like a record collection, the space is tactile, designed to be touched. We explored a level of detail synonymous with Wrensilva’s reputation for high-quality, gallery-esque pieces. The result is something between a cozy library and a minimal gallery for the joy and discovery of music.
– Studio Collective Principal Designer Christian Schulz
The entire Wrensilva console family – M1, The Standard, and the compact Loft – are on display, inviting clients to come by and sample the curated record collection featured in the floor-to-ceiling displays.
Wrensilva LA is open Tuesday – Friday from 12pm – 5pm, and by appointment. But perhaps if you peer in longingly – and long enough – the Wrensilva team will be apt to let you in for a listening session.
Photos by Ralf Strathmann.