Armstrong Ceilings give University a new lease of life

A variety of systems from interior solutions provider Armstrong Ceilings have played a vital role in the £200,000 refurbishment of teaching accommodation at Southampton Solent University.

Barry Jaggard, a member of the estate’s operations team, who has used Armstrong Ceilings throughout the campus over the years, said: “In many respects the success of this particular refurbishment centred on the ceilings as they were so dominant in the design. They were as significant as that, the main part of the project.

“The performance, both aesthetically, which was our priority, and acoustically, is exactly what we expected. We are very happy with the design outcome.”

The project involved the refurbishment of two main corridors and four lecture rooms at the Herbert Collins building which was built in the 1960s and modified in the 1990s but was in dire need of a makeover.

Armstrong-approved Omega contractor NFC Contracts, who have worked with the university for years, had a team of two on site for two weeks during the summer holidays. It proved an unusual project for them as there were so many different Armstrong systems being used in what was essentially one area.

Managing director Martin Scevity said: “A lot of pre-contract work went into getting it right.”

The challenge was using the ceiling systems to visually divide the corridors. Both required plasterboard upstands of varying depths, to hide ducting in one and to separate a walkway from break out/seating areas in the other.

Dune white mineral planks, cut to size, were used in conjunction with the plasterboard upstand to hide the ducting in the 100-metre-long corridor that linked the Herbert Collins building with another. Then between this and the wall on the other side, concave Ultima canopies were suspended from the blacked-out soffit, alternating with pendant lights and changing to convex canopies where corridors crossed one another.

The shorter but wider corridor outside the lecture rooms was also divided using a shallower plasterboard upstand across approximately 30% of the ceiling area to separate the walkway from the seating area. Again, Dune white mineral planks were used here with downlighters.

Over the breakout area, the ceiling comprised two levels of Dune mineral square tiles in a Mountain Blue colour, with white Ultima canopies, which feature excellent sound absorption and light reflection, suspended concave and convex over the lower part of this ceiling area.

Each of the four classrooms was treated differently with Graphis mineral tiles, which feature a crisp, plaster-like design and geometric patterns, and Image mineral tiles.

Martin Scevity added: “This project looks particularly attractive although it was quite challenging because the corridors had to be exact in width and we had to ensure the upstands stayed straight and true.”

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