The rustic charm of heritage buildings is often sacrificed when renovating to accommodate the demands of the modern workplace. Faced with a 400sqm 100-year-old heritage building in Downtown Auckland, Architect Jose Gutierrez encountered a number of issues affecting the acoustic suitability of the space. The existing space consisted of two hipped roofs and a central 7m high loft set between them, with exposed timber trusses. These elements are known to be acoustically problematic, however Gutierrez and TRA Managing Director Andrew Lewis felt the raw nature and oxidised concrete walls played an important part in telling the history of the building; incorporating them into the project design was a must.
Having worked with Autex on previous projects, Guiterrez knew he could turn to them for an acoustic solution that would complement the existing heritage aspects, and promote a calm, clear, and comfortable workplace environment.
The first area of focus was the open-plan office. To keep the existing design untouched, a subtle acoustic solution was required. GreenStuf® Autex Acoustic Blanket (AAB), a neutral black acoustic blanket, was the perfect choice. Because of its non-toxic, 100% polyester composition, GreenStuf AAB can be left exposed in the workplace – which allowed Gutierrez to fasten it behind vertical raw steel sections. Having a high Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of up to 1.10, GreenStuf AAB was the perfect solution for sound absorption in an open-plan office environment because of its ability to absorb noise across low, mid, and high-level frequencies.
Alongside the open plan office, TRA required a number of smaller personal meeting rooms designed for 2-3 people. Due to the size of the rooms, Autex Cube™ was a suitable solution for the project. The walls were lined from floor to ceiling in solid panels, creating a nice, smooth finish whilst providing a moderate level of sound absorption suitable for a small space. The colour Falling Water was chosen to provide contrast to the rest of the office and match the TRA logo in the board room.
“Stepping into a black void”, is the description Architect Jose Guiterrez used to explain the boardroom. With black mirror and polished concrete walls, the TRA boardroom, left untreated, would be an acoustic nightmare. Boasting a high NRC, Quietspace® Panel in black was suspended from the ceiling as an effective, and aesthetically appropriate, acoustic solution. Using the Horizon™ suspension system from Autex, the lights and other ceiling fixtures were able to be installed in the panels, giving the ceiling a smooth finish.
Read more about the project here: http://architecturenow.co.nz/articles/2015-supreme-award-winner/