“When planning to construct a new studio within the Metropolis complex for the award winning songwriter/producer/artist Camille Purcell, Kazbar Systems were, of course, my first choice of studio constructor. When it came to designing the room, the team went above and beyond expectations, spending a great deal of time working with us, discussing the desired technical requirements, aesthetic outcome and finishes for the studio and advising us on options to work within our budget. The finished product is all we could have wished for and more, I can’t rate them highly enough. Special shout out to Gavin Miller, who could not have been more helpful and accommodating throughout the entire process. Thank you, Kazbar Systems, it was an absolute pleasure working with you!”
Head of Studios Metropolis
Kazbar Systems has recently completed the design and construction of the high-end writing and production studio for hit-writer Kamille at Metropolis Studios, Chiswick, London.
The Design Brief
The Client required a writing and production studio with a vocal booth to be constructed on the ground floor of Metropolis Studios. The aesthetic requirement from Kamille was ‘a space age studio’ with a ‘jungle vibe’ for the vocal booth. Metropolis required the studios to be highly isolated to maximise the commercial potential of new and existing studios.
The studio is located in Chiswick at the stunning Metropolis Power House. Featuring multiple writing and production rooms, Metropolis is now home to multi-award-winning songwriter Kamille. She is known for her work with Little Mix, Jess Glynne and Clean Bandit to mention just a few. When Kamille needed a new studio, Metropolis contacted Kazbar Systems to take on the full project. Below are photos showing the original rooms that were converted into the vocal booth and control room.
The project began with a number of onsite meetings with Emma Townsend, Studio Manager at Metropolis and Kamille, during which we established the Client requirements and ascertained the strengths and weaknesses of the host area to ensure the project is feasible and can be delivered within the budget.
Once the feasibility study was concluded we provided the Client with a range of conceptual drawings and CAD renders for discussion and further development.
Having agreed the final layout and specification and aesthetics with Emma Townsend, Kamille and Richard Connell, Metropolis CEO, Kazbar then submitted the designs to Building Control for review and confirmation that the proposed design conforms to all relevant Building Regulations.
Below are two of the conceptual renders for the studio:
Construction and Project Management
Once the strip-out and preparatory works were completed the studio construction began in earnest. This included a multitude of trades all of which were managed by Dave Eccleston, Kazbar Systems’ Technical- and Project Manager, to ensure that the project was delivered to the highest standard, on time and on budget.
Below we see the early stages of the construction of the control room, followed up with photos of the feature wall, window and mirror:
The main wall in the control room was designed and constructed as a large, curved feature wall with integrated smart LED lighting, controllable by app, remote controller or Mac.
The walls have been covered in stretched, acoustic fabric to obscure the bespoke acoustic treatments and to give a clean, sharp finish.
Engineered wooden flooring in a White Oak finish was provided, which doesn’t only look fantastic, it is also highly durable. On the left, there is a window looking into the vocal booth, so artist and engineer always can be in contact. As per the Clients requirements, all walls & ceiling finishes are in white and on the right, a gold mirror has been installed to open up the space further.
The Client wanted an organic live room with a jungle-vibe.
This was achieved through a stretched fabric wall, ambient mood-lights and artificial greenery chosen by the Client. The smart mood lights have been integrated in the ceiling clouds, which can be controlled independently or simultaneously with the lights in the control room. To maintain a clean consistency and modern finish throughout the studio the vocal booth has the same engineered wooden flooring as the control room.
Dave Eccleston, in conjunction with Paul Norris, Metropolis Studios Chief Engineer, developed the wiring schematics which provided for analogue, digital, video and data ties to and from the vocal booth and the main Metropolis server room. This included custom wall plates and bespoke rack modules. The cabling was installed by Kazbar Systems’ Technical Engineer; Oda Holm Strand.
An expanded Phillips Hue system was incorporated into the design which was configured to provide multiple ‘mood light zones’. The zones can be controlled individually or unison and it includes the spotlights, ceiling cloud, feature wall and the vocal booth.
The system features 16 million colour options and all zones can be controlled from the app, remote controller or the studio iMac.
Bespoke Acoustic Doors
Due to the high level of sound isolation required by the Client, Kazbar supplied a total of 4 bespoke acoustic doors, which provide an isolation value in excess of 45db RW. The doors were fitted with automatic closers, kick strips and a key-code lock to the external door of the studio.
Fire Detection and Warning
Fire detection and warning systems are vital to ensure safety and are also a fundamental requirement of Building Control. Our engineer was successfully able to integrate the new system into the existing, providing a number of bespoke equipment finishes in order to maintain the aesthetics of the Studio.
Sound Transmission and Acoustic Accuracy Testing
Sound transfer from the control room to vocal booth and from the entire studio to external areas was tested and met or exceeded the required design targets of >90dB.
The RT60 of the studio and vocal booth was also tested and met or exceeded the specified targets of <0.3 seconds in the Control Room and <0.4 seconds in the Vocal Booth.
The studio is now fully up and running, Kamille has added her own personal touches and is very happy with her new space.
Follow her on instagram on @Kamille for updates from the studio!