There was a time when the legendary Sausalito Record Plant hosted stars the caliber of Stevie Wonder and Sly Stone, both of whom recorded some of their harmonious hits in the now-defunct studio. The historic building now offers a different kind of harmony, involving mellow and healthy activities that inspire relaxation, rejuvenation and wellness.
Harmonia, which has been occupying the Record Plant space since 2011—and introduced music and events in 2013—is a spa-meets-coworking-space which calls itself a “members club.”
But the place has only recently started to pop on locals’ radar for its non-musical offerings. The slow roll was intentional—founder and managing partner Jennifer Adler kept her new business low key as she slowly fleshed out her offerings after taking over the elaborate labyrinth of rooms and hallways. The recording studio itself closed in 2008. After taking over the space, Adler built a small massage studio which offers relaxing Esalen and Thai massage treatments. That was followed by a renovated yoga space, where Aerial Play and Bhakti Flow classes now take place, as well as upbeat jazz-driven dance workouts, Pilates and candlelight yoga.
Next, the coworking space came together—it’s still coming together in anticipation of a February debut—a warm mix of rugs, ottomans and tables, and with it, a lineup of events: Mindfulness workshops, kirtan gatherings, classes on the history and philosophy of yoga and more.
Adler sees the coworking space as an equivalent to the famous Soho House in New York City, part members club, and part international hotel chain.
Unlike the Soho House, no overnight accommodations are offered at Harmonia, but the vibe and abundance of amenities is meant to envelop members in a welcoming (if exclusive), environment.
Adler grew up in Mill Valley and now lives in San Anselmo with her family. She worked for 10 years as a trend forecaster in New York, and previous to opening Harmonia, she was the Bay Area vice president of marketing for the German-based beauty brand Amea.
Adler says she spent a lot of time in “amazing spaces and clubs” in New York, where she discovered and was inspired by the Soho House’s living room area, typically filled with people working in a collaborative environment.
Her own coworking program at Harmonia will mix business and pleasure in one location, in hopes of attracting city executives for corporate retreats and off-site meetings.
Contemporary wellness studios typically feature clean, bright colors, yet the Record Plant’s deep brown hues stand out in their own right and contribute to the serene atmosphere. The secluded location and the discrete exterior (there’s just a small sign announcing Harmonia), add to the mysterious charm of the place.
Adler wouldn’t have it any other way. “The building has [a] very unique design thanks to its musical history,” she says. “The thick, soundproof doors are perfect for off-site meetings, massage or loud parties and gatherings. Concerts and sound healings also sound amazing in our space.”
To play up the building’s heritage, Adler commissioned large-scale portraits of Prince, Jimi Hendrix and other musical legends, which welcome guests to the lounge and a skylight-lit, yurt-like reception area (Prince recorded his first album at the Sausalito Record Plant in 1977). To further ramp up the the relaxation quotient, Adler installed a dry cedar sauna and a fire pit in an on-site garden.
“I opened the space because I wanted to do something meaningful and powerful that wasn’t just skin deep,” she says. “Every day I like to think we’re changing people’s lives and giving them a moment of creative brainstorming, relaxation, healing and sense of belonging to a community.”
Community is meant in an expanded sense: The Sausalito location is frequented by Marin clients, but the proximity to San Francisco is a bonus, which she hopes to continue to draw on.
“We are located in a super-private location,” she says, “which is 15 minutes from the city.”
Harmonia will roll out more offerings in the new year—additional educational classes, bigger parties—and expanded happy hours. The latter is one of Adler’s proudest additions to Harmonia’s roster of activities. “Our members can’t stop raving about them,” she says.
Harmonia, 2200 Marinship Way, Sausalito, 415/332-1432; harmoniamarin.com.