Solutions to improve venue acoustics
Designed to host a wide range of events, from markets and training days to concerts and weddings, cultural centres tend to be large, open spaces. They are often designed specifically to generate income for a council or private investor by hiring the space out to the community.
Many centres are part of a broader complex that includes a gym, library, cafe, and pool area. Their colour palette is often deliberately kept neutral, to encourage patrons to hire the space for their events.
Ensuring acoustics are suitable is important in any large venue; yet it’s absolutely crucial for cultural centres that are designed to host various activities in one spot and sometimes different activities occurring simultaneously.
Why cultural centre acoustics are so important
Can you imagine the noise from a wedding interrupting someone using the library, or the sounds of people enjoying a cafe interrupting a presentation from a keynote speaker?
People are becoming more aware of noise and its impact. Smartphone applications have been developed to tell people if a venue is too noisy – and the location of quieter venues nearby! It’s easy to see how poor acoustics can lead to fewer repeat visitors and bad reviews on Google or Facebook.
Being home to such a wide range of uses, the risk to cultural centres is high – as patrons may simply deem the venue unusable if poor acoustics are apparent.
Case study: Overcoming reverberation in a community venue
In late 2017 Lachlan Shire Council built a new community hall in Condobolin to host specialty events ranging from dances to community meetings. Unfortunately, the hall’s noise issues (also known as reverberation) were so severe that it was hardly usable. Some events were relocated to other venues or even held outside the hall! Avenue Interior Systems went to work. Read more
Where does noise come from?
Sound is all around us, from rain on the roof, to our colleagues typing, and the dishwasher humming. In a setting such as a cultural centre, sound is generated from various activities, for example music, sports equipment, and most commonly from people simply conversing.
It’s when sound is unwanted that it becomes noise.
Yet overcoming noise can be far from straightforward. Too much absorption in a space can deaden the room, while not enough will leave the space with reverberation. That’s why achieving the ideal acoustic balance for a space requires input from acoustic specialists.
What causes noise in cultural centres?
Poor reverberation in a venue can lead to people raising their voices. And as one group of guests speak louder to be heard, another group must do the same. This creates a discord of sounds which leads to the noise in the space being made worse.
On the other hand, the cultural centre may have hard floors, and the scraping of a chair creates a grating noise, leading to guests’ ears ringing after a function. If the acoustics are not optimal, the room’s reverberation may be too long, in which case the attendees will not enjoy the experience.
The different types of acoustic products
Today, acoustic solutions are many and varied. Each solution should be unique to individual clients, and may include applications for acoustic wall panels, ceilings, desks, or freestanding options. These options allow for greater flexibility when creating an acoustically sound open space.
Modern acoustic products are aesthetically pleasing, offering options to either blend into their surroundings or to stand out and make a statement, depending on the clients preference.
Most products are pin or hook and loop friendly, allowing you to retain valuable wall space for hanging decorations, artwork, or notices.
How to select the ideal acoustic product for a cultural centre
Helping you choose the right acoustic products is where engaging an acoustic professional will come to the fore. Avenue Interior Systems are experts in identifying the right products for your cultural centre.
When selecting the type of product, we will listen to how your space is used and ask:
1. What type of floor coverings do you have?
2. What is the construction of your walls and ceilings?
3. What is the size of your centre, and the height of your ceilings?
4. How many people use your space at any given time?
5. What kind of events are held in your facility?
This information is provided to the subject matter expert who will use it to create the perfect solution for the venue and its uses.
Calando Panel is one of our most popular acoustic panels. Standard colours are white, black, and grey, with thicknesses of 25mm, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm – which takes the title of best acoustic performance.
Calando Panels can cover large spaces quickly, and can either blend in or stand out depending on your preference. They can be wrapped in Calando Fabric to match your venue’s colour scheme, or if you’d prefer to use the panel as a feature, a high-resolution photo can be printed onto the panel.
Calando One Panel
Calando One acoustic panels are more versatile than Calando since, thanks to being only 12mm or 24mm thick, they can be cut into shapes to create a feature in your space.
Calando One panel is available in 23 standard colours, making it easy to find the right colour for your venue.
Improving cultural centre acoustics is as simple as contacting the friendly team at Avenue Interior Systems on 1300 827 177.