Nestled atop a Remuera cliff, this stunning Auckland home is a comfortable, stylish, functional work of art. Designed with acoustics in mind by Malcolm Taylor of Xsite Architects, the home is a sanctuary and escape from the bustling city it overlooks.
The living room, kitchen and dining area are an open plan design which makes the most of the stunning view while remaining practical for living and entertaining. The floors are wooden, large sliding glass doors create indoor/outdoor flow whilst continuing to capitalise on the views. The kitchen is sleek and minimalistic with a large antique brown leather granite bench dividing the kitchen and the entertaining portion of the room.
The sleek, functional design does however provide an unseen challenge that has been overcome in an ingenious way. This challenge lies with the acoustics of the space. With all the hard surfaces the space potentially could be very “alive” acoustically. This would contradict the clients’ need of the space being a sanctuary, capable of hosting a decent sized gathering but remaining comfortable and easy for day to day living. So as to not compromise the design Malcolm realised the best way to solve the problem was with an acoustic ceiling using the helmholtz principle.
The original idea was to construct a ceiling comprised of slats with fabric and acoustic insulation lying on top. However, aware that Autex Industries specialise in making innovative acoustic products, the team at Xsite contacted Autex to explore the possibilities. The decision to use Autex Workstation was quickly made as the product is versatile, rigid and customisable - it was an exact fit.
For the best result aesthetically, each panel was made to be as long as the corresponding section of ceiling. Workstation panels were manufactured by Autex in custom sizes ranging from 1.6 meters to 5.0 meters in length.
The panels were then delivered to site where the ceiling was “pre-fabricated” on a custom made jig. The sections consisted of cedar slats, Workstation panel, with aluminium brackets all screwed together from the top down into the slats. Once the ceiling sections were complete they were then manually lifted and screwed securely into place. To ensure an immaculate finish the screws were countersunk below the surface and then capped flush with the removed Workstation panel so that no fixings would be visible.
The space is usable and stylish, suited perfectly to its purpose. The acoustic ceiling fits in well with the uber-chic, contemporary design portrayed throughout the home. The acoustics of the kitchen and living areas are soft and practical whether the space is being used for relaxation, dinner for two or a gathering of friends and family. The subtle stylish aesthetics of the ceiling prove that acoustic systems need not look like acoustic systems.