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Frontier Provides Focal Point for Te Awamutu Library

The Te Awamutu library has a sentimental value that resonates throughout the community. The historic building that once catered to only 17 subscribers has now grown a regular presence of at least 30,000 people. This growth meant that the homely building could no longer do its job.

Opus Architects, responsible for the new retrofit of Te Awamutu Library, created a solar-powered building with a strong, simple and modern design that utilises a limited palette of materials. The design includes a perforated metal exterior cladding, termed filigree, that symbolises the interconnected multiple uses of the library. The ‘interconnected’ theme is continued through the interior design with eight functional areas sharing modern, versatile, internal surfaces and exposed ducting. Openness of design and multiplicity of function, however, mandated a modern and considered approach to acoustic management.

Autex's Frontier was used in the main areas of the library, reception and children’s zone. Frontier is an innovative modular acoustic ceiling system designed for modern aesthetic and targeted sound absorption. A patented suspension system, made up of aluminium channels and clips for a secure and flexible fit, Frontier can either be suspended or fixed straight to the ceiling structure.

Frontier was used as a focal point in the library. Jonathan Mountfort, Autex Senior Design Engineer says the idea was to proactively incorporate the rich history of Te Awamutu into the spatial design scheme by depicting the local myth of three children. The Frontier system was designed as three overlaying, circular, interwoven rafts suspended above the kid’s zone and reception area. This also helped differentiation of areas in the open plan space.

In areas of ‘high traffic’, noise and reverberation was significantly reduced. Opus says of the client, “They wanted to absorb noise from the reception area while creating a great piece of art in the entry. In the areas where Autex products were used, there was significant improvement of acoustic performance”.

The project received a warm welcome from the community and has garnered national attention for the outstanding design. Nominated for a Designers Institute of New Zealand Award, Te Awamutu Library has become a concrete staple in the community.

View more information on Autex Acoustics, including contact details.
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