Prince’s Paisley Park: How Paisley Park Came To Be, Insight From The Architect

Prince loved living and working in his Paisley Park compound. From the outside, the structure resembles a large commercial building. However, the inside tells a completely different, not to mention wonderful, story.

According to Billboard, Bret Thoeny was asked to design Prince’s compound in 1985. At the time, the 23-year-old architect had never attempted anything of that magnitude before.

Prince had a vision. He wanted to have everything under one roof. As this POPSUGAR video explains, he wanted someplace to create his music, make movies, dance, do choreography and anything else he might eventually take an interest in. Up until that time, no individual artist had ever accomplished such a feat. In that respect, Price was a man before his time.

If you take a couple of minutes to watch the entire video, you’ll get a brief glimpse inside Paisley Park. It was truly the place Prince called home.

Paisley Park got its name because Prince had a love for anything paisley. If you recall, he even wrote a 1985 song of the same name.

Prince’s complex took approximately 3 years to construct. The 65,000 square foot building cost the superstar entertainer $10 million. Entering the two-story lobby is a breathtaking experience. The decor really says something about Prince’s unique and eclectic style.

The first floor of Paisley Park is home to production facilities, recording studios, a sound stage and a rehearsal hall. There are no windows anywhere downstairs. Why? Prince wanted a “timeless environment.” This made it easier for him to work whenever he wanted to, whether it was day or night.

The “secret vault,” which received so much attention after Prince died, really was a secret. In theory, the only other person who knew about it was Bret Thoeny.

Prince was also quite secretive about the entire property. He didn’t like fans taking pictures of his Chanhassen, Minnesota residence.

The second floor of Paisley Park is comprised of executive offices and Prince’s personal living space. Because his symbol, “formally known as” didn’t exist at the time the complex was built, it was never physically incorporated into the structure.

Jeff Vasishta, a reporter for Rolling Stone Magazine, recently recalled the day in 1999 when he interviewed Prince at Paisley Park. He said Prince’s home looked a lot like he envisioned it would. There was custom velvet furniture, with heart shapes on the pillows, his famous symbol, countless video cassettes of award shows, and even a pair of caged doves.

At the end of the Billboard interview, the architect responsible for the design of Paisley Park was asked why he thought Prince kept his compound after all of these years. After all, he had the means to live anywhere in the world. Bret Thoeny had the following to say about that.

“He didn’t want to do it in LA or New York, he wanted to do it in his hometown. Being there to creatively support and give back to his town what it gave him, I don’t think he’d ever want that to change. We really lost a generous, artistic genius today.”

If you had the opportunity to tour Prince’s compound, Paisley Park, would you do so? Feel free to leave your feedback about anything. Prince-related below.

[Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images]