What: Fantasy Band Room and Recording Studio
WHO: Founder and principal designer of via., Frank Leungis an award-winning architect and interior designer who was recently named Interior Architect of the Year at the Chivas 18 Architecture Awards 2015. His portfolio spans residential, hospitality, commercial and retail projects, incorporating graphic, architectural and interior design.
Designer Frank Leung understands the niceties and details required by audiophiles who crave a music haven, and he has designed the ultimate band room and recording studio for amateurs and professionals, whether they are affluent music lovers or composers for professional productions.
To ensure the band room and recording studio are perfect, Leung turned to an industry expert for consultation. Victoria Yun, director of Betrue Limited, a leading audio-visual entertainment design and integration firm based in Hong Kong, advised Leung on the general design requirements, the necessary equipment and the overall budgeting.
The ultimate brainchild of the two is a dedicated space, split over two levels, for music lovers to not only play music and record songs, but also to relax in a little sanctuary.
On the first floor, Leung places a bar, a lounge and a stage. There is also a small garden for the owner to get some fresh air and inspiration, should they so desire. Moving upwards, there is a band room with its own vocal booth next to the recording studio, where musical sessions can be directly recorded from the band room. With Yun's technical background, she advised the via. team on all possible band setting scenarios including the different requirements each genre needs in terms of acoustic environment and recording, says Leung.
"For example, classical performance will require a higher RT, while pop/rock needs a more 'dead' room." Further, from a performance point of view, different instruments will require different microphone pick-up & positioning," he says.
Taking Yun's advice into account, Leung chose to organise each area based on a hexagonal grid. Each space has its own hexagonal area, and custom-made hexagonal natural timber flooring can be found in the grand band room and the bar and lounge. Throughout the space, sound-absorbing fabrics line the walls to reduce outside noise interference.
To enhance natural sunlight, one wall features custom designed ETFE panels, which resemble bubble wrap and absorb sound without blocking out any light.
In the recording studio, hand-stitched leather panels help with sound absorption while looking effortlessly chic.
Custom-designed timber deflectors also ensure pure and beautiful tones when recording.
Taking into account producers, friends and family who may want to watch recording sessions, Leung has placed lush sofas for people to lounge on. What stands out about Leung's band room and recording studio are the plush colours and inviting ambience.
"Often we see band rooms and recording studios that [look] quite utilitarian," Leung says.
In designing this fantasy band room, "we [opted] for a more plush and decorative approach that is more comfortable and fun. We went for colours and fluid shapes to reflect the owner's fun-loving nature".
In the lounge, Leung uses colourful furnishings such as the ginger yellow Jelly Pea by India Mahdavi and moss-green Pacha chairs by Pierre Paulin to create a cosy and laid-back atmosphere.
To balance the rounded pieces, he includes cast bronze side tables from Nilufar, and a laminated stainless steel chair, called Bookish, by New York furniture designer Ian Stell.
For an extra edgy touch, he also includes a dining table named Tiger, crafted from alternate gold, black and silver patches of stainless steel.
Lighting is equally important. Leung uses a Les Cordes chandelier by Mathieu Lehanneur in the lounge, and above the bar hangs a Trapeze 10 pendant from the Manhattan studio Apparatus.
Of the design aesthetics, Leung says: "The overall feel is a mix of playful fun and serious craft, much reflecting the owner's taste in music and lifestyle."