Transforming interior spaces with innovative acoustic solutions




Acoustics for community spaces

Installer: Ceillings Unlimited

Interior Designers: Penny Mills

Categories: Community, Education

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Te Awamutu Public Library

Connecting communities through the built environment

After nearly 25 years of planning, Te Awamutu finally received a brand-new library. The long-running institution, once catering to just 17 subscribers, had grown to a regular presence of at least 30,000 people; the historic building could no longer do its job.


The Project


Te Awamutu library called on Opus Architects to bring their vision to life; a building that tells the proud heritage of the town, and caters to the mass of people and print.


The new library has a strong, simple, and modern design with a minimal palette of materials. The theme of ‘interconnectedness’ is shown through interior design, with eight functional areas sharing modern, versatile, polished internal surfaces and exposed ducting. The openness of design and variety of functions, however, required a modern approach to acoustic management.


Penny Mills of Opus, the lead designer for the Te Awamutu library project, said that the call for a punchy design element with high performing acoustic treatment led her to Autex.

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Additional info

The Goal

The goal was to create a piece of functional art that could absorb noise from the reception area, whilst also serving as a focal point upon entry to the library. In order to achieve this goal, the team at Autex delivered a bespoke acoustic system using Frontier™ – an innovative modular acoustic ceiling system designed for modern aesthetic and targeted sound absorption.


Frontier™ 24mm custom circles were used above the children’s zone, as well as the custom Frontier™ 12mm system above the entrance to the reception, suspended from a box section frame with seismic suspension cables and water-cut dovetail “soffit” sections to accommodate flush mounted LED lighting.

The Result

Jonathan Mountfort, Autex Creative Director, says the idea was to proactively incorporate the rich history of Te Awamutu into the spatial design scheme by depicting the local myth of ‘Three Children’. The Frontier™ system was designed as three overlaying, circular, interwoven rafts suspended above the children’s zone and reception area. This also helped to distinguish areas in the open plan space.


The project received a warm welcome from the community and has garnered national attention for the outstanding design. Te Awamutu Library has become a concrete staple in the community.


Project Details

3 x Custom Frontier™ 24mm circles above children’s zone.

1 x Custom 12mm system above reception entrance.

Colours: Falling Water, Savoye, Empire, Flatiron, Ironbank.




Opus Architecture is a leading team of building design professionals – architects, interior designers and project managers.


We provide building design services to the public, commercial, health, leisure and education sectors. We’ve earned a reputation for innovative design solutions with a strong focus on sustainability and our work has been recognised with many top design awards.


We often work with in-house structural, civil and building services engineers to provide a total, managed, multi-disciplinary design service.

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