Transforming interior spaces with innovative acoustic solutions




Designing for future leaders

Architect: Bond Bryan

Account Manager: Amy Marrocco

Categories: Education

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A custom approach to multipurpose learning environments

The project

Collaboration and innovation were core tenets underpinning the design direction of Farnborough College of Technology’s new Emerging Technologies Centre (ETC).


The state-of-the-art facility, which was refurbished from two redundant teaching blocks, was developed to house the college’s technology resources and serve as a dedicated student zone. To make the most of the footprint, the team from design practice, Bond Bryan was tasked with bringing the building to life.


The challenge


“The ETC was designed as a multifunctional teaching area with a large, flexible open-plan space at its centre,” described former Bond Bryan Associate Edward Leone. The goal was to create an inspiring and versatile environment suitable for student-led learning, lectures, enrolments, and graduation ceremonies.


“The key challenge though of a multi-functional space such as the ETC is the control of acoustic reverberation,” explained Edward, highlighting the necessity of acoustically treating areas with multiple end users to ensure speech intelligibility. However, the Bond Bryan team also had to account for the building’s challenging physical composition. “The space was made up of mostly hard surfaces, with just the carpet on the floor offering any form of acoustic absorption; the existing soffit was concrete, and the services were all exposed.”


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The solution

To accommodate the ETC’s broad demands and enhance its acoustic performance, the designers selected several treatments to reduce noise reverberation and echo. Autex Acoustics® Groove, which boasts superior reverberated noise absorption, effortlessly suited the area’s requirements.


“Groove served to reduce reverberation to the rear of the space where the ETC is used for lectures and graduation ceremonies,” said Edward. Made from Cube™ panels in Autex Acoustics’ manufacturing facility in West Yorkshire, the precise, angular patterns of Groove add creativity and nuance to walls and ceilings whilst also improving the acoustic comfort of occupants.

The result

In keeping with the project’s broader design brief, the team designed a custom pattern to adorn the walls, something that was easily achieved using Groove with the help of Autex Acoustics’ in-house design consultant. “Groove allowed us to match the abstracted drone propeller and aeroplane shapes, which were a theme throughout the interior finishes, as this linked to key aspects of Emerging Technologies the client wanted to capture,” detailed Edward. The result being a visually appealing, dynamic workspace for the leaders of tomorrow.

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Amy Marrocco

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Bond Bryan


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