Patalab architects were commissioned to convert an intriguing building off Acton High Street in the London Borough of Ealing into a new certified school for children with Special Education Needs and one with a special focus on pupils with severe autism. Given the nature of the school and the links between autism and noise sensitivity, Troldtekt’s acoustic wood wool panelling was specified to minimise sound reverberation and to promote a healthy sound environment and calmness.
Snowflake School is an Ofsted-outstanding teaching environment in a building which was originally a purpose-built hall for the Salvation Army before being turned into an animation studio. Inserted steelwork mezzanines over a herringbone-floored hall contributed to a mishmash of conversions.
Project Architect Sophie Fuller explains: “The double-height central space works really well as the school’s main hall. In order to minimise sound reverberation, we chose to clad the upper half in acoustic panelling made from wood wool.
“The texture and neutral colour of the panelling also help to make this tall space feel friendlier and warmer.”
Following design guidelines, as well as meeting fire protection and safety requirements, meant many aspects of the building’s history had to be covered although glimpses remain. For example, the original parquet floor in the assembly hall, original metal handrails protruding from new plywood balustrades and relocated doors as internal windows.
At the same time, the addition of ramps and a platform stair lift have create accessibility.
With foundations on the Cradle-to-Cradle design concept, Troldtekt’s natural and inherently sustainable panels are available in a variety of different surfaces and colours and contribute positively to a building’s BREEAM, DGNB and LEED ratings.
In addition to their high sound absorption and tactile surface, they offer high durability and low cost lifecycle performance. Available in various sizes and in four grades from extreme fine to coarse, the panels can be left untreated or painted in virtually any RAL colour.
Samples, case studies and technical guidance are available via 01978 664255 or troldtekt.co.uk
Photography credit: Gareth Gardener – https://garethgardner.com/
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