It is the constant problem for leading architects and designers; Making Quiet™… In working, learning and living spaces.

Increasingly, these three types of spaces are becoming more closely integrated. Traditional, well demarcated areas are being replaced or repurposed to have multiple uses, as the lines between these spaces are becoming more and more blurred. Living spaces in our houses and apartments have now become home office working spaces. Open plan workspaces traditionally designed as offices now feature sections for communal eating, recreation and relaxation. University campuses that were once a collection of lecture theatres and tutorial rooms are incorporating flexible use areas, resembling that of an open plan office.

The boundaries between living spaces, working spaces and learning spaces have become blurred, and no better has this become evident than in the realm of tertiary student accommodation.

Given these facilities must allow students to live, work and learn in cohabitation, University shared accommodation has an established a reputation as being extremely noisy. However, prospective students today understand that they will perform better in their university studies, as well as enhance their emotional well-being, if they have accommodation options that afford them a quiet environment. They will pay a premium for privilege.

Dwell Student Living is the highly prestigious high-rise student accommodation facility built in the heart of the Adelaide CBD. Adelaide has exceptional universities and a long history of attracting international students choosing to undertake their tertiary education across Adelaide’s fantastic city campus locations. When the Dwell Student Living project was as its infancy, acoustic design was central to the project’s success. The developers understood that creating a positive acoustic environment would result in high occupancy of the new facility being achieved quickly.

Modern aesthetic textures such as concrete and glass, often found in multi-story residential developments, have the effect of turning rooms into resonating boxes. Noise is reflected from all six sides of the room – the floor, four walls and a ceiling. Acoufelt uses its Acoustic FWC™ approach to resolving the problem of the resonating box, viewing every surface as an opportunity to treat the acoustic environment and absorb sound. In the case of the Dwell Student Living project, Acoufelt recommended using their Solid Color acoustic panels in the color “Metal META600” on the walls of student rooms. The metal grey panels brought a light textured aesthetic to the space, whilst also alleviating issues of noise reverberation within each room, as well as sound transmission between the rooms.

This project epitomises the overlap between working, learning and living spaces, where developers were required to create an environment for students to live harmoniously in close proximity. Each student has their own life to lead; some need to study, some needing to work in collaborative groups, some need relaxation, whilst other need to talk to people back home. This can be very noisy…. but Acoufelt is helping them in Making Quiet™.

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