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 teamed up with Autex on his 2014 Interior Award nominated design for Mildred & Co, Guiterrez knew he could turn to Autex to work towards a solution that would complement the existing space and heritage but would provide 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 hidden acoustic solution was required; introducing GreenStuf® Autex Acoustic Blanket (AAB) a neutral black acoustic blanket. Because of its non-toxic, 100% polyester composition, GreenStuf AAB can be left exposed in the workplace, allowing Gutierrez to fasten it behind vertical raw steel sections. Having a high Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of up to 1.10; GreenStuf AAB is a perfect solution to sound absorption in an open plan office environment because of its ability to absorb noise across low, mid and high-level tones.
Alongside the open plan office, TRA required a number of smaller personal meeting rooms that were designed for meetings for 2-3 people. Because these rooms were smaller and would generally have conversations with only one person talking at once, Autex Cube™ was a suitable solution for the project. In solid panels, Cube could line the walls all the way to the ceiling and have the structural integrity to create a nice flat 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 but to also match the TRA logo in the board room.
“Stepping into a black void” is the description Architect Jose Guiterrez has used to explain the board room in TRA’s new location. Lined with black mirrored walls and polished walls, the TRA boardroom could have become an acoustic nightmare. Luckily Autex Quietspace® Panel comes in a stylish and complementing smooth black finish. Boasting a high NRC the lightweight acoustic panel was suspended from the ceiling to create an effective acoustic solution. Using the Horizon™ suspension system from Autex, the lights and other ceiling fixtures were able to be installed in the panels, finishing off the smooth look of the ceiling.
Autex Industries are proud leaders in the development of 100% polyester acoustic solutions. We are happy to work alongside architects, designers and acoustic engineers to design and develop unique acoustic solutions that incorporate existing design.
Read more about the project here: http://architecturenow.co.nz/articles/2015-supreme-award-winner/