Project: Aecom office
Country/city: South Africa, Pretoria
Architect: Hofman and Partners Architects, Kobus Kunz
Photographer: Thys Dullaart
Production year: 2013-2014
Early in 2014, technical and management support provider Aecom moved into their new office premises in Pretoria, South Africa. The new working environment includes several Ecophon solutions but the most impressive part of the building is without any doubt the atrium. Originally just an entrance, Aecom decided that the space could be used as an eating and lounge area as well.
“As high noise levels were expected, the design should include absorbing materials”, stated Kobus Kunz, Architect at Hofman and Partners. Kobus wanted to explore the effects of an explosion and how it can be translated both visually and practically. The result is a complex but visually stunning installation of Solo Square and Solo Baffle in standard and special sizes.
“We use this area mainly for informal meetings, training and presentations. The acoustic installation made a huge difference not just functionally but aesthetically as well and is very comfortable not only for the speakers but also the staff. The design and concept of the installation was done by the architect and approved by Aecom management. We are very happy with the beautiful design and the results as well. It’s not just a feature but a piece of art.”
Kevin James, Senior Management Aecom
The installation of the solution was quite a challenge. In total, around 252 wire hangers were used to install 220 Ecophon panels. The scaffolding used for the installation was more than 15 meters high. To make the impressive installation look and function perfect meant a lot of precision work and miniscule attention to details when lining up panels horizontally and vertically.
The end result looks fabulous but the acoustic conditions have definitely also improved. The rather long reverberation time has been reduced dramatically and the Ecophon solutions have made a huge difference to the noise levels as well. Kevin James, Senior Management Aecom states: “The acoustic installation has improved the working conditions and we often receive comments on how quiet the various spaces are in the office. The clarity and intelligibility of speech has also improved dramatically.”
“When talking to the architect in one corner of the atrium, we could not overhear the installer who was standing 15 meters away from us, also having a conversation.”
Greg Mocké, ASM, Ecophon