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Autex Redefines Heritage Buildings for the Modern Office

The rustic charm of a heritage building is often sacrificed to the demands of a modern workplace. In the Quay building, a 400sqm 100-year-old heritage building in downtown Auckland, architect Jose Gutierrez was faced with a number of issues affecting the performance of the space as a functioning workplace for the newly rebranded TRA, and its 40 staff members.

The existing space consisted of two hipped roofs with a central 7m high loft set between them, with exposed timber trusses. Jose Gutierrez and TRA Managing Director Andrew Lewis felt the raw nature of the oxidised concrete walls played an important part in telling the history of the building.

To complement the functionality of the open plan office environment TRA also required a boardroom, a series of smaller meeting rooms and a staff break out room. With the 7m high ceiling space, exposed wooden beams, concrete walls and polished wooden floors, Guiterrez knew noise reverberation would be an issue.

Having developed a strong relationship with Autex on his 2014 Interior Award nominated design for Mildred & Co, Guiterrez again worked closely with Auckland Sales Manager Daniel Szczepanski to deliver a solution that would complement the existing space and heritage, but would provide a calm, clear and comfortable work place environment. The project was completed in February 2015.

The first area of focus was the open plan office. To keep the existing design untouched a subtle, hidden acoustic solution was required, and Autex introduced GreenStuf 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 Coefficient Rating (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 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 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 new 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.

Andrew Lewis, Managing Director from TRA states "the space really captures the feel of where we are heading as a business. It sort of represents a new chapter for us. It very effectively encapsulates our desire to create a collaborative, future-focused working environment which captures our underlying values of momentum, clarity, excellence and creativity. Even six weeks in, you can feel the space working its magic, imbuing our work and working style with increased energy and passion. We love it."

Autex Industries are proud leaders in the development of 100% polyester acoustic solutions, and are happy to work alongside architects, designers and acoustic engineers to design and develop unique solutions that incorporate existing design and lead the way in redefining environments.

For more information, call Autex on 0800 428 839 or visit the website.

View more information on Autex Acoustics, including contact details.
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August 2015 EBOSSNOW Case Studies

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