FLOATING ‘RAFTS’ REFINE DANCE STUDIO ACOUSTICS
A series of four raft structures have been suspended from the ceiling of a Trafford school’s dance studio to create a more comfortable acoustic environment without detracting from the space’s strong architectural styling.
The facility, located at Lostock College, just a short distance from Manchester’s Trafford Centre, has been designed by the local authority’s own architects, with Damar from Macclesfield being the ceiling contractor on the project. Both Ecophon Focus E and the manufacturer’s Edge system were employed in creating the four acoustic baffles.
The project architect from Trafford Council’s department of the Built Environment,
Mr Andrew Sheldon, recounts: “This is a new studio we have created at the Lostock College and we knew at the outset that the interior was going to feature almost entirely hard finishes, but we did not want to install a conventional suspended ceiling, stretching from wall to wall, because the building features a sloping roof which is sculptural in form.”
“In practice, music and other sounds caused quite a lot of reverberation, and made it a less than comfortable teaching environment for those using the studio. We therefore decided to install a series of floating ceilings for acoustic purposes and the Ecophon systems seemed to offer the sensitive solution appropriate to the interior. They take the form of four simple rafts or baffles and the installation has worked very well.”
The construction of the dance studio has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund as well as the local authority and now provides a valuable arts resource in this part of the city.