Artichoke was briefed to design a music room into this new build house following previous attempts by audio visual specialists. The client wanted a room which appeared as living space but was acoustically robust enough to play and record amplified music in. The brief also asked us to research ways to minimise sound transfer throughout the rest of the house and the outside.
In parallel with this brief, the room adjacent to the music room was originally intended as a library, but following discussions with the client it was felt this room should be repurposed to store a a guitar collection in, as well as other curios.
Rather than line the room with book cases, a predictable approach for a library in a period house, Artichoke researched and surveyed the display cabinets at Teylers Museum of Wonder in Haarlem, Holland. Taking inspiration from the collection’s impressive curiosity cabinets, we designed practical and dramatic pieces which best displayed the client’s guitars. Taking this approach allowed us to create a less crowded room with elegant stand-alone pieces of furniture. It also meant the space became a more natural lobby to the adjacent and more dramatic music room. The cabinets are made of rift cut European oak. The oak handles are turned and neatly recessed into the drawer fronts. The locking mechanism for the drawers is also an elaborate and fun quirk, with the lower pilasters hinged to cover the drawer fronts, preventing the drawers from being pulled open when the pilasters are locked. The carpet, handmade in Portugal, was specified and sourced by Todhunter Earle, the project interior designer.
The blockwork walls presented as a rectangular space, so the first task was to square the room up to create a sense of classical proportion. This created a void for the room’s complex air conditioning mechanics and recording equipment. It also gave us the opportunity to design a square fibrous plaster coffered ceiling which lined up perfectly with the antique mirror panelled pilasters which surround the room. We consulted acoustic experts before designing the room’s complex ‘grounds’ – a plywood scaffold onto which our finished joinery is mounted. The decorative panels are created from a framework of high and low frequency absorbing panels wrapped in dyed horsehair fabric, an acoustically transparent material.
A completely unique series of rooms that satisfies our client’s passion for music and related collections. The collector’s room is unique to this property and this client – a truly bespoke solution and the result of a careful interrogation of the brief. The music room provides a luxurious space where a musical passion can be expressed in comfort whilst keeping sound throughout the house and beyond to a minimum.