21 November 2023
4 min read
Room dividers have evolved over the years, but their purpose remains the same: a cost-effective way to quickly and efficiently separate a room.
Today, moveable partition wall systems – including acoustic sliders and automated operable walls, such as those from Trans-Space – utilise the latest technology to elevate the aesthetics, functionality and acoustics of spaces.
Often in offices and spaces such as retail stores, schools, leisure facilities and conference venues, the question arises on how to divide a room into two spaces. This could be to create more space for events and gatherings, or to section off a portion of the room for meetings, for example.
“People are starting to meet again, and conferences are starting to take off – many of the clients we speak with are booked solid for conferences. This means they’re starting to make money again, and are starting to spend money on upgrading their walls,” says Woody Purdom, managing director at Trans-Space, New Zealand’s only manufacturer of operable walls.
Many conference centres in New Zealand, such as SkyCity and the Aotea Centre, have used movable partition walls for many years, and Woody says they are making the switch to Trans-Space products.
“If conference centres such as these can’t operate their walls, they can lose their conference bookings and it is a disaster for them. So it’s important that the walls are operational.
“What they’ve been doing is instead of waiting for the walls to break and before they find themselves in that situation, they’re starting to swap them out with our products. They know that if they have a problem, we can help straight away.”
Specialists in movable and operable doors, Trans-Space has over 50 years of experience in the industry. Recently, the decision was made to bring all manufacturing back onshore – and the company hasn’t looked back since.
“By purchasing our product, you're not only buying a good product, but you're also helping keep manufacturing alive in New Zealand – which directly affects local people,” says Purdom.
With production kept local, the wall systems can also be specified and installed much quicker, and serviced if needed.
“It takes away the unknown quantity that is shipping – which can be four or five weeks, or even longer,” says Purdom. “If there is an issue with the walls after installation, we can help them out straight away because we hold all the components here in the factory. We’ve got the parts and we’ve got the expertise to do it.”
Local production means that every operable wall from Trans-Space is tailor-made for its location, purpose and uses, with quality fittings, finishes and other raw materials sourced in New Zealand.
Thanks to local manufacturing, custom surfaced designs can also be applied to the walls.
“Architects can design intricate patterns for the panels and because we have all the machinery and tooling, these can be laser cut into the faces.”
An example of this is the Latitude project, which Trans-Space completed in Auckland.
“The architect came to us with a design that they thought wasn’t possible,” says Purdom. “We sourced a company that could laser etch the design into the veneer, to which we applied polyurethane and integrated into our glass frames – the outcome being a semi-glass and solid finish with a fantastic face finish design which exceeded the client’s expectations.”
Good acoustics in an indoor environment are essential for comfort. In the workplace, managing sound reverberation has even been found to increase productivity, reduce stress levels and improve communication, and a movable acoustic wall partition system can successfully achieve this.
“We produce several models of operable walls and they vary in sound ratings. We’ve been developing a new set of panels that will replace three different ranges of walls and they will be much easier to use in terms of manoeuvrability. They will go higher and the sound rating will be improved. It’s a big step forward for us; it’s been in development for about three years now.”
By utilising existing floor space with the latest technology, workplaces, hospitality hubs, conference centres and residential and commercial projects can achieve more with the precious space that is available.
Installing operable walls, room dividers and acoustic panels creates the flexibility and ability to adapt spaces as needed, and Trans-Space can work with clients to find a solution for every project.
Discover products and projects by Trans-Space on ArchiPro.