Alderley Park Conference Centre, Macclesfield

SAS International have installed a bespoke ceiling solution which complements a fully functional acoustic soffit.

Key features

Sector

Commercial

Architect

Alderson Design

Main contractor

The Austin Company

Sub-contractor

SAS Project Management

Completion year

2008

Special requirements

A ceiling system which allowed the acoustic soffit lining to function properly

Area M2

252

Region

United Kingdom

Product Groups

A stunning Linear Strip Waveform ceiling has been installed in the main lecture theatre at Alderley Park Conference Centre, Macclesfield.

SAS International’s Project Management Team, working with architect Nicholas Alderson of Alderson Design, designed and installed a solution where a bespoke ceiling system complements a fully functional acoustic soffit.

Nicholas Alderson, Director of Alderson Design says: “The role of SAS in this project was not just that of a specialist ceiling manufacturer and installer, they also facilitated the co­ordination and installation of the specialist lighting, AV/VC systems and the principle containment and lighting (Tecton) busbar routes. This proactive role helped to make the ceiling installation a successful example of how to develop a concept into a complete technical solution that satisfies all elements of a comprehensive design brief”.

The ceiling in the lecture theatre needed to balance the required audio-visual, video conferencing and TV technical performance requirements without compromising on aesthetics. The outcome combines a black painted void and acoustically treated soffit and a suspended ceiling system which undulates, adding an exciting additional dimension to the ceiling plane.

The solution required meticulous design and build. A solid strip form is featured above the stage area to help project sound outwards.

However the strip design means that in the main auditorium the waveform, by way of contrast, could be open.

Here the challenge was that profile sides and suspension grids would be highly visible from below. This was resolved by SAS Project Management developing a concealed suspension system integrated into the ceiling’s profile.

There is an endless array of different criteria for acoustic requirements within buildings which affect suspended ceilings. The ability of the Linear Strip Waveform surface to absorb sound, minimising the reflection of sound energy back into a space, was an essential requirement for the conference centre.

The bespoke ceiling helps prevent reverberations which can sometimes be caused from sound reflections from room surfaces. In an environment where excellent audio-visual surroundings such as a lecture theatre are critical this was a key consideration.

The overall result is a striking yet very functional design. The ceiling area measures 252m². Luminaires above the stage and in the main auditorium are able sit within and follow the flowing form.

A major research facility in the company’s global network, state of the art new offices and research buildings have been created on the site, of which the lecture theatre is a core part.