Music school hits all the right notes

Overbury's fit out has provided innovative facilities with endless opportunities for talented free-spirits to listen, learn, play, create and become the best in their business.

Project partners

  • Turner & Townsend
  • Bennett Williams Partnerships (Midlands) Ltd
  • Glenn Howells Architects

“Music Industry and sync” is the motto that represents the first-class aspirations of Resonance. Faced with an abandoned, canal side office building, half an hour from Birmingham, we delved deep into the entrepreneurial and musical minds behind the project to help deliver their vision.

An artistic showcase

The brief was to strip out the existing building and create a unique educational and creative setting for ambitious musicians, producers, composers, teachers and enterprising students. So we designed and delivered a distinctive and flexible range of work settings, accompanied by complex technical solutions and a completely new HVAC system.

Centre stage

Three fully-equipped recording and production studios are backed by eight rehearsal rooms and 18 small practice rooms/meeting spaces. We designed a variety of solutions to ensure complete acoustic isolation in these areas.

The two broadcast rooms (home to Black Country radio) allow linkups to rehearsal rooms for live broadcasting and they work alongside vocal tracking rooms and a music technology suite. We also custom-designed a listening room and a video production and green screen suite.

Rehearse and repeat

The second floor is now home to three lecture theatres — one seating over 200 for talks and performances. Five large teaching rooms are flexible in their configuration and are supported by a library (think 'pub with no bar'), education centre and administrative offices.

When music-making is on pause, the café serves hot, local food and the vibe in the student chill-out zone is complemented by the large mural illustrating the area’s distinctive musical heritage.

Rhythmic design

The design gives a sense of immersion into the origins of the area’s rich musical heritage and stylistically blends lyrical patterns.

The spiral staircase is the focus for the rhythmic beat of the space. Emanating from this point, the flooring alternates in rings of cool industrial concrete and warm herringbone timber, representing soundwaves.

The budget expectations and rock ’n' roll characteristics combined nicely into leaving ceilings exposed and spraying soffits and slabs to enhance the grungy mood and overall feeling of transparency.

Re-used and battered furniture leathers woven throughout the scheme reflect the casual, bohemian origins of a musical past. Muted greys and neutral tones are a blank canvas for free-thinking and creativity and are interspersed with vibrant orange, green and purple pulses derived from the Resonance logo.

The 18-week inspirational programme was handed over on time and on budget.

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