Deakin University’s newest corporate centre, Deakin Downtown, offers the University a fresh environment for commercial-meets-educational opportunities and new partnerships with various associations and industries. Deakin Downtown has been designed to facilitate a collaborative mindset between traditionally separate sectors, commercial and education, offering a dynamic interplay between formal and informal spaces. Featuring a new front of house reception, large multifunctional AV rooms and flexible spaces for meetings, functions and more, the space can accommodate for individuals in any of the informal breakout spaces, as well as groups ranging in size from 2 to 230.

Given the new design brief, acoustic solutions needed to be found that both enabled disparate spaces to function as intended, as well as meet the high design standard present throughout the project. There is increasing awareness in the A+D industries, and within the education and commercial sectors more broadly, regarding the significance of acoustics for the success of a space. As a fusion of the two, this was especially true for Deakin Downtown.

Poor acoustics has been linked to everything from reduced concentration to increased absenteeism among workers, on top of potentially long-term damage to vocal chords for those constantly fighting to be heard.

Working with Hassell, Roxy Interiors, and Capabuild, Armstrong developed suitable acoustic solutions, taking into consideration the existing design requirements.

The designer of Deakin Downtown, Daniel Yu, noted, “[Hassell] wanted [an acoustic solution] that we could integrate with the lighting scheme and services, and that could also provide the space with some linearity.”

“We were originally looking for the battens to be solid timber sections, although we then saw the capabilities of [the MetalWorks range from Armstrong], and when we saw it on site it was quite impressive. It worked well with the proposed system, both cohesively and visually.”

State Manager of Armstrong Victoria Tim Barnes said, “The tubular, wood-effect baffle ceiling was installed underneath concealed black metal infill panels in order to give the impression of floating timber battens, as well as serving the practical purpose of blocking sight through into the plenum space.”

“However, [Deakin, through Hassell] needed access to the plenum thereafter, so we devised a system where the infill panels could be easily removed and reinstalled after completion. The baffles are removable as well if required.”

Hook-on “concealed grid” ceiling systems are often specified where access to the plenum is required, without sacrificing clean holistic appearance.

“It was a decision informed by practicality as much as aesthetics,” Barnes added.

The result is a high quality, unique, integrated solution, combining a concealed black MetalWorks acoustical ceiling with timber-look MetalWorks Tubular Aluminium Baffles, as per the design brief.

Armstrong MetalWorks™ ceiling systems are an innovative range of metal acoustic solutions for commercial applications, focused on providing projects with effective sound absorptive properties in conjunction with contemporary design aesthetics.

The MetalWorks range is available with either standard or custom perforation patterns and colours, and features a simple installation process on standard suspension systems.

Get in touch with Armstrong via their website below for more information about the MetalWorks acoustical ceiling range and a variety other ceiling solutions.