Wirral’s landmark Floral Pavilion blossoms afresh with Knauf Drywall systems helping to shape the interior of a stunning new theatre and conference centre. After its £12 million redevelopment, the Floral Pavilion provides state of the art facilities for the Merseyside region and continues a 95 year tradition of entertainment on the New Brighton seafront. Knauf Drywall systems provide lining and partitioning systems with fire resistance and acoustic performances required for a major multi-purpose venue.

Built at the tip of the Wirral Peninsula, the new Floral Pavilion consists of a high specification theatre seating more than 800 and a flexible 765m2 conference centre which can be subdivided into five separate rooms enabling it to accommodate meetings for as few as 50 people, banquets for up to 300, and exhibitions or trade shows.

Knauf Drywall systems were installed for main contractor Kier North West by subcontractor Plastercraft, using materials sourced through the Manchester branches of Encon and Keel Supply. They include a range of high performance partitions and MF suspended ceilings. Partitions are designed for 60 or 90 minutes’ fire resistance, and, depending on location, from 46dB to 57dB airborne sound reduction – to minimise interference when theatre and conference centre are in use simultaneously. Topping the partition bill at 57dB is a specification for straight and curved walls with 146mm Knauf ‘I’ studs, two layers of 15mm Knauf Soundshield on each side and 50mm Knauf Acoustic Partition Roll in the void. Plastercraft site manager Craig Griffiths says this specification, for straight walls up to 11,8 metres in height, is used for the main compartment walls, typically between theatre, conference centre and central circulating areas. The curved walls form the rear of the theatre auditorium.

The Floral Pavilion first opened in 1913 as an open-air summer theatre in the New Victoria Gardens. In 1925 it was covered by an iron and glass roof and in the mid-1960s it was partly rebuilt, with a full metal roof. It has always been a popular venue, shared by local amateur groups and touring professionals. It closed in March 2007 to make way for the Neptune Developments regeneration plan which is part of the £60 million scheme to revitalise New Brighton with improvements including a new town square surrounded by cafes and apartments. The overall development is funded by Merseyside Waterfront Regional Park, EDRF Objective One and Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.

Knauf Drywall manufactures a full range of plasters, plasterboards, insulating laminates, dry flooring, drywall accessories, and metal sections for domestic, commercial and public sector applications. Knauf Drywall pioneered carbon neutral plasterboard in the UK with Knauf Futurepanel. Knauf Drywall also actively promotes recycling from building sites and has a zero waste policy in its energy efficient factories at Sittingbourne in Kent and Immingham on Humberside.

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