The Heart of Te Awamutu - Autex Acoustics | ArchiPro

The Heart of Te Awamutu

The building is solar-powered and has a strong, simple, and modern design that utilizes a limited palette of materials. The design includes a perforated metal exterior cladding, termed filigree, that symbolizes the interconnected multiple uses of the library. The ‘interconnected’ theme is continued through the interior design, with eight functional areas sharing modern, versatile, polished internal surfaces and exposed ducting. The openness of design and multiplicity of function, however, mandated a modern and considered approach to acoustic management. 

Penny Mills of Opus, the lead designer for the Te Awamutu library project, said that the call for a punchy design element with high-performing acoustic treatment led her to Autex. 

Autex's Frontier™ was used in the main areas of the library, reception, and children’s zone.  Frontier™ is an innovative modular acoustic ceiling system designed for modern aesthetic and targeted sound absorption. A patented suspension system made up of aluminum channels and clips for a secure and flexible fit, the Frontier can either be suspended or fixed straight to the ceiling structure. 

Frontier™ was used as a focal point in the library. Jonathan Mountfort, Autex Senior Design Engineer says the idea was to proactively incorporate the rich history of Te Awamutu into the spatial design scheme by depicting the local myth of 3 children. The Frontier system was designed as three overlaying, circular, interwoven rafts suspended above the kid’s zone and reception area. This also helped the differentiation of areas in the open-plan space. 

In areas of 'high traffic’, noise and reverberation were significantly reduced. Mills goes on to say, “they wanted to absorb noise from the reception area while creating a great piece of art in the entry. In the areas where Autex products were used, there was a significant improvement of acoustic performance”.

Autex Account Manager, Brent Parker, says of the design process, “Autex were able to engineer, design and make functional a complete system. The lighting of the design, like every use of space, was crucial, so we worked with Penny and the team to incorporate the lighting into the Frontier system. We wanted to not only make the area of space acoustically functional and aesthetic but also practical”. 

The project received a warm welcome from the community and has garnered national attention for the outstanding design. In the running to win a Designers Institute of New Zealand Award, Te Awamutu Library has become a concrete staple in the community.

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