Despite the contemporary design and impressive green credentials, Westralia Plaza’s lobby—a busy reception area and meeting hub—wasn’t setting the best impression. As resident businesses were looking to use the lobby as an informal space for coffee and meetings, high-performance acoustic treatment was required to manage reverberation and echo noise. However, with high curved ceilings, the lobby proved difficult to treat. Working alongside Autex, Plus Architecture specified a custom acoustic solution designed to enhance the space both aesthetically and acoustically. 

  

 

Just off the bustling St George’s Terrace, in the heart of Perth’s CBD, sits Westralia Plaza. Originally constructed in 2010, Westralia Plaza is a cutting-edge, 13-storey office block that proudly holds the title of WA’s first Green Star Building, as well as an A grade PCA rating and a 4.5 Australian Building Greenhouse rating. As a prime office location, Westralia Plaza provides workers with a variety of nearby restaurants and coffee shops, as well as easy, covered access to bus and rail connections.

Despite its contemporary design and impressive green credentials, Westralia Plaza’s lobby—a busy reception area and meeting hub—wasn’t setting the best impression. As Meghan Lewis, lead architect at Plus Architecture, explains, “Office lobbies have come a long way, in recent years. When Westralia Plaza was built, the lobby was little more than a way to enter and exit the building; nowadays, it’s an important facility—both a welcoming reception area and an extended meeting room. Resident businesses want to be able to use the lobby as an informal space for employees and clients to have coffee and relaxed conversations, so it needed a new fit out to make that possible”.

Acoustic challenges

Acoustic challenges

On top of tight project timeframes, a key challenge for Lewis and her team was the lobby’s unusual vaulted and curved ceiling shape which, while visually impressive, greatly limited viable cladding options. “The lobby ceiling mirrors the sweeping curves and arches that wrap around the building’s exterior. Both the client and our team were keen to retain that shape and stay true to the original building’s innovative design—but almost every side of the ceiling was a different angle or radius curve, so finding the right solution for that became the toughest challenge of the entire project”.

With the ceiling’s original cladding posing potential fire rating issues, as well as exacerbating the lobby’s noise levels, Lewis set about researching high-performing acoustic cladding products with the flexibility to tackle the awkward ceiling shape.

Solution

Solution

Having tried and failed to source an appropriate solution from several suppliers, Capital Interior Projects pointed Lewis towards Autex’s Cube™ acoustic panels. “We hadn’t worked with them before, but as a local supplier they were able to provide everything we needed far more quickly—and had the high acoustic performance, as well as the sustainability credentials, that we were looking for”. In addition, Autex’s panels enabled Lewis additional customisation, with the ability to inlay the unique floor patterns of the lobby into the ceiling tiles for a mirrored effect.

“We’ve been extremely impressed with Autex—both the product and the service they’ve provided”, enthuses Lewis. “We had very complicated, intricate requirements—when you consider the curving, the accuracy needed to line-up and laser cut the joints, as well as the pattern inlay—and Autex have been ready and willing to deliver. The outcome is exactly what we were aiming for and we couldn’t be happier”.