Reason: The look of timber. The acoustics of Cube

With the purchase of a new commercial space on Shortland Street in Auckland, Reason founders Tim Pointer and Matt Rowe set out to translate the design character of their Wellington office into Auckland. ‘We wanted to create a similar brand experience in both, so we felt like one team across both locations.’

A law firm had previously occupied the offices, and with small meeting rooms, wall-to-wall carpet and white ceiling tiles, the office had a corporate feel. ‘To inject the personality of our digital agency, we needed a warmer, more relaxed space,’ says Matt. ‘We wanted an amazing office that was going to attract our team back into work after all the lockdowns.’

Opening up the space

Reason commissioned a fit-out specialist to strip out the existing partitions, lift the carpet and polish the concrete floors. New meeting rooms feature floor to ceiling glass partitions, with a charcoal-coloured carpet tile for comfort and sound dampening. But when it came to the open-plan spaces, Reason needed an acoustic material to offset the characterful but hard concrete floor – the existing white ceiling tiles didn’t have the style or character they were after.

‘We knew we needed something to absorb sound,’ says Matt. ‘I’ve worked in spaces with concrete-only surfaces, and it can get unpleasant and echoey. We wanted the space to look trendy, modern and more creative. A plywood solution would be too heavy for the existing ceiling grid. It was a difficult brief.’

Opening up the space

Acoustic Timber products

He contacted Autex Acoustics and discovered our Acoustic Timber. Made in panels, baffles and ceiling tiles, the acoustic product provides excellent sound qualities. And being a lightweight panel, the tiles fit perfectly into an existing ceiling grid.

‘We showed Matt our new Hoop Pine finish,’ says Autex Acoustics account manager Lucy Cable, ‘and he couldn’t believe how closely it resembled plywood.’

Acoustic Timber is a high-performance acoustic product. Lightweight and semi-rigid, it is made from 100% polyester fibre to achieve fire and seismic compliance.

To create its natural look and high-end finish, we have photographed a selection of premium timbers and digitally print the images onto the polyester panel with a safe, water-based, UV-cured ink.

‘It was important that we achieved a high level of accuracy and representation of the natural grains,’ says Autex product developer Alex Buckman. ‘The Acoustic Timber range celebrates the richness and diversity of timbers used in interior spaces, while providing a high level of acoustic performance, all in one product.’

Made locally and speed on site

Acoustic Timber tiles are manufactured and printed at Autex Acoustics in Avondale, Auckland. With a local supply chain, Autex products provide a ready source of stock, while their manufacture also benefits the local economy.

For Reason, the whole process was incredibly simple. After selecting their preferred style, Autex’s installer partner Nomadtika looked after the supply and installation.

‘The Autex tile meant they could slot it straight into the hanging T-bar system to reduce cost and speed up the whole fit-out time,’ says Matt. ‘We had the rails painted black for a modern look, and the tiles dropped straight into the existing grid.’

‘The space looks fantastic,’ says Matt. ‘From a sound perspective, we’ve found them far more effective at reducing reverberation from hard floors than other systems. Having the whole ceiling sound absorbing is incredibly effective – you can have a one-on-one conversation very comfortably.’

Made locally and speed on site

‘The Autex tile meant they could slot it straight into the hanging T-bar system to reduce cost and speed up the whole fit-out time,’ says Matt. ‘We had the rails painted black for a modern look, and the tiles dropped straight into the existing grid.’