PropertyIndustry Voices

Case study: Acoustic treatments for Westmount School MLE

Westmount School refurbished its Kaipara campus to include a new learning centre designed around modern learning and flexible learning spaces.

The contemporary learning centre consists of a large, open-plan collaborative area with banquette seating and separate rooms for brainstorming and project work.

Photo credit: Mark Scowen, supplied by Autex Industries

Although aesthetically pleasing, the large open area proved to be a challenge for controlling sound reverberation. The hard surfaces and the open nature of the space meant that there was no barrier for sound, and it was likely to produce high levels of sound reverberation. This had the potential to create a disruptive learning environment.

Aware of the potential issue, interior design group Unispace sought out a high-performing custom acoustic solution that would be a visually appealing, engaging, and fun learning environment.

Having worked with Autex previously, Unispace associate designer Rosie Taylor approached Autex account manager Anton Agnew for a practical acoustic solution that would complement the school’s vibrant culture. Autex’s Frontier™ Acoustic Fin system was an ideal solution to creating an acoustic ceiling feature that was simple to install and delivered exceptional acoustic absorption. Working in collaboration with Autex, Unispace designed a rippled water pattern to form a softened, fluid effect that changes as you move around the learning centre.

Photo credit: Mark Scowen, supplied by Autex Industries

As design and aesthetics were particularly crucial for this project, Frontier was chosen due to its impressive sound-absorbing properties and its ability to allow complete design flexibility. This is achieved through its lightweight and semi-rigid attributes.

Working to an extremely tight programme, Autex used their state-of-the-art water cutting machine to cut seventy-four custom acoustic fins in colours Senado, Flatiron and Savoye. Using the patented Frontier channels and connector system, the ceiling formation was installed smoothly and easily, and saved the installers plenty of time. The rippled water pattern had lights suspended in between fins to create a vibrant glisten, highlighting the contemporary colours selected to enhance the space further.

Post-installation of Frontier, the new learning centre promotes a calm yet collaborative environment, benefiting students and staff alike.

Not only ideal for acoustic absorption, Frontier presents many benefits that make it a staple in any educational environment, and is made from highly durable, non-allergenic, non-irritant and non-toxic material. The complete design flexibility of the Frontier fins creates endless possibilities and solutions for modern learning environments.

Written by Courtney Turner, Autex Industries

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