Band Room Design - what is important

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Beesa, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Beesa

    Beesa Member

    Designing a band room. (Offshoot from another thread)

    It looks like our band room, which was once on the outskirts and dregs of the town, has now become a more or less prime site. There's a possibility in the not too distant future that we could get a good offer to move.

    What would you include in a new band room. Obviously as big as practically possible, but is the space better for separate rooms for teaching, library, store room and office/committee room or is it worth thinking about a small function/concert room which could be used for raising funds.

    Would you have a bar? (not such an obvious answer as you might think).

    There needs to be a kitchen of course.

    Is it worth thinking about the acoustics? I know one band who had a good rough wall that absorbed the sound beautifully but then the committee didn't think it looked too nice so they smooth plastered over it. Nice and echoey now...

    Carpet or lino or wood floor (see "spit on the carpet" thread)

    Garage for band bus? An ultra luxury but it is worth considering.

    I realise that all this is a bit subjective and in particular depends on how much money is available, but what points should be considered at an early design stage.

    Cheers for any ideas or sharing your own experience.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2008
  2. Bones

    Bones Member

    If I was designng a bandroom, the major consideration for me would be storage space, as nothing annoys the hell out of me that seeing bits and pieces roughly stacked here there and everywhere.

    A good sized rehearsal room with space for percussion and spectators
    An Office
    A Kitchen or brew room at least
    Storage for perc cases, spare instruments and uniform rails, preferably in separate rooms
    A library with plent of flat surfaces for sorting pads out.
    A kids room/creche
    PLenty of parking
    Access for a van and coach
    Double doors at some point in the building to get stuff out easier.

    Brighouse have got this right.
  3. Paulst7

    Paulst7 New Member

    The band I used to play for were in a similar situation about 15 years ago where they were evicted from their old room and set about fundraising to build a new bandroom from scratch.

    As money was reasonably tight and raised from the community they did not have the luxury of many rooms etc and opted for one large rehearsal space with separate bathroom facilities/large cupboard etc. The kitchen area was actually a corner of the rehearsal room. After much consultation the band discovered special acoustic tiles for the ceiling specifically designed for rehearsal rooms and opted for a the sort of flooring which you find in hospital wards etc laid in a couple of large sheets. These were quite expensive but worth it I think. The acoustics were actually very good

    We did consider a bar....of course....but were dismayed to find the land we had been gifted by the local authority had a restrictive covenant attached which prevented sale of liquor or the use the land as a bar of any type. Boo! Would be worth looking at those sort of things when searching for an appropriate room/site

  4. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Proper lighting. I've rehearsed in several band rooms where there was plenty of storage, plenty of room to set up the full band without crowding, and adequate acoustics, but where the lighting was so bad that players had difficulty seeing their parts.
  5. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Yes ;)
  6. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Funnily enough I was just thinking of the Brighouse rehearsal building when I was reading through. I was up there just before the areas. Had a guided tour of the whole place. Fantastic!
  7. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    Acoustics should be your first priority.
  8. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    :biggrin: :clap:

    (although I do have to admit I hate falling over boxes as well)
  9. Anonymous_user

    Anonymous_user New Member

    Do not have a pitch roof. Make it a flat roof with acoutic tiles!
  10. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    I have no qualifications whatsoever for adding to this thread, but, as a total numpty, it occurs to me that the acoustics, although very important, are to some extent a "bolt-on".

    I would have thought that the initial priorities should be the actual accommodation and logistical practicalities, with the factors that affect the acoustic properties being considered within that framework.

    Is it not possible, if presented with an existing building that is suitable in all other respects, to modify the interior by additional or substitute walling/flooring to make it acoustically acceptable?

    (Numpty numps off, stage left...)
  11. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    Do you mean internally or externally? I have found that flat, felted roofs are pre-disposed to leak after a few years.
  12. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    I think he means internally.

    Just to go up a post, whilst I can understand what you mean about acoustics being a 'bolt on', it doesn't mean that you have to think about it that way. We're not necessarily talking about acoustic treatments here (although they would be of benefit), but you need to think about things like the shape of the room, the height of the ceiling, whether the walls are parallel etc etc and include them in the plans.

    There's absolutely no point in having a supposed purpose designed room in which you should be able to make detailed analysis of music that's got 5 seconds of reverberation or the world's worst slapback reflections.

    IMO the most important function of the bandroom is a good place to rehearse and get better in musically - having a kettle in it is secondary.

    Maybe that's where I went wrong ;)

    YMMV of course.
  13. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    Again, from the uneducated's point of view, is this something any architect would naturally take into consideration, if the brief was to design a "bandroom", or would it be necessary to find one who specialised in (or at least had experience of) design of that nature?
  14. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    I doubt it - you'd be better having an acoustics consultant onboard to tell them what to avoid (there are, of course, people who could straddle both tasks)....if anyone actually does need to go down that road PM me and I'll supply you with names.
  15. robcornet

    robcornet Member

    I think the main thing has to be comfortable seats as nothing worse then sitting for 2 hours on a hard seat. :eek: Seriously though storage is the main priority and plenty of it!:tup
  16. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Having said that, you need to be careful oh how you go about getting the storage space.

    Delph had a cage for instruments in the bandroom right behind the trombones. A right pain in the back side because you had to sit about a foot away from it!

    Been taken away now though. I loved it when I was back, I could move right back into the space it left :clap:
  17. Beesa

    Beesa Member

    I'd agree with this, but there will be few architects who specialise or have had acoustic building experience of a rehearsal room nature..

    I suppose the architect will first of all go by what their client wants, so I anticipate that at some stage he will need a brief outline. OK, a lot of it is common sense if you're involved with Brass Bands and especially if you have played in loads of different band rooms to compare.

    I went to a continental band room. The room was staged with basses and percussion up from the rest of the band. There was stacks of room, a kitchen, a store room - everything. The conductor even had a console on his stand to record and instantly play back.

    When I look back though, the best times I had in a band were with one that played in a dingey church hall cellar. No kettle or toilet facilities (although it was next door to a public toilet) and extremely cramped.

    Anyway, cheers for the replies. I would prefer to think about these things at this stage rather than when the building is up.
  18. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    Pimp your bandroom!

    Mine would be pink (of course) with pink fluffy sofa chairs to sit on. A disco ball in the middle, diamonds encrusted into the walls, wine on a tap coming from underneath your stand, a chocolate fountain goodness in the corner of the room, and some nice toilets and a little kitchen with a fridge at the back.

    I cant help thinking my band wouldnt attract many men though...
  19. DobX Dave

    DobX Dave Member

    Boarshurst Band (third section) in Greenfield has everyone of the above except a creche ~ but they still have the 'odd' empty chair (see previous recruitment posts), they even have a bar, committee rooms, so why with all these facilities are they unable to fill seats ? ~ the same can be said for Dobcross as well.

    Which then asks the question what is important, a full band or facilities ~ the obvious answer is both, but unfortunately in the lower sections it appears not many have all the above quoted luxuries.
  20. Timpking

    Timpking Member

    Music Stands.
    Something every good bandroom should have!