The Tompkins Park Sports Bar upgrade

Tompkins Park Sports Bar sits proudly on the bank of the Swan River, offering sweeping views of the landscape and the glittering Perth skyline beyond. The building is impressive, with high ceilings, a grand central hall, and glass walls overlooking the surrounding sports fields. Day to day, Tompkins Park operates as a sports bar, restaurant, community hub and function venue, catering to the needs of Perth locals aged five to 85.

In the spring of 2020, with Christmas fast approaching and the events calendar filling up, Tompkins Sports Bar engaged FINESPUN Architecture to give the space a face lift. While the view was undeniably stunning, the building was in need of a renovation. Alongside a number of interior design issues, the bar also had a noise problem. After an assessment from acoustic engineers Gabriels Hearne Farrell revealed that the space had an uncomfortably high reverb time—a common problem in buildings with extensive glazing and lofty ceilings—it was clear that the acoustics required immediate attention. With such a diverse activity roster and clientele, the space needed to feel accessible and comfortable for all patrons, regardless of the occasion.

As the project was a retrofit, FINESPUN needed an acoustic solution that could be installed around existing fixtures. Familiar with the Autex Acoustics® range, the architects specified Frontier Acoustic Fins in Tundra for the ceiling. This acoustic fin system is designed to absorb high-end frequencies, which is where the human vocal range sits, making it ideal for environments where the majority of the noise is generated by conversations. Modular by design, the Frontier system was perfect for the retrofit as the Fins are individually adjustable. “One of the reasons we used the Frontier system was to enable the original design of the building to be exposed to view”, Patrick Miller of FINESPUN explained. For the walls, FINESPUN specified Cube in Empire, direct fixed with an elegant negative detail. Acoustically, the Cube panels target the same frequency range as the Frontier Acoustic Fins, providing extra absorption.

By applying acoustic treatment, FINESPUN were able to lower the reverberation time, creating a comfortable, relaxed environment. Finished in time for the flurry of Christmas events, the renovated space continues to bring people of all ages together to enjoy good food, drinks and conversation without straining their voices.