The quiet fun solution

As most architects and designers know, there is often a problem in reconciling the hard surfaces of many interesting interior design products with the space they occupy. This is because aesthetics and personal comfort should perform well together. For example, this has often been a problem with the demise of use of carpets in public and leisure places and the resulting increase in noise.

Sound-absorbing cement-bonded wood wool panels from Troldtekt are often used as acoustic ceilings in restaurants and hotels
Photo: Ben Carpenter

The London Gunnnersbury Park Museum is a perfect example of how designers Path Design found a high-performance acoustic solution for this potential problem.
The project involved bringing to life the once opulent home of the famous Rothschild family. The years had taken their toll on the house designed by fashionable 19th century architect Sydney Smirke which has now been restored. As part of its Heritage Lottery Funded redevelopment, the once-neglected museum has been transformed and boasts new gallery and learning spaces as well as a brand new exhibit telling the stories of local people.

A major new addition is the pavilion, originally designed to house both the catering facilities and horse-drawn carriages that are a large part of the Park’s heritage. When considering its redesign, the architects wanted to create a space that would provide a hub for the Park. It needed to be a space that emotionally connected with both one-off visitors to the Museum and regular users of the Park.

Path Design says, “We worked closely with the catering supplier to make sure that the customer flows were appropriate to meet with the peaks and troughs found in such weather-dependant locations.”
“We needed to ensure that we addressed what could be a relatively hard interior because of the heavy floors we needed for high traffic catering and the predominantly glazed elevations. As such, we looked to soften acoustically the space to reduce the background noise generated by the open kitchen and coffee machines, along with the general noise created by visitors.”
With this in mind, the designers decided to specify Troldtekt panels. With its natural look and feel and acoustic properties, they were the ideal solution to apply to the ceiling. It allowed them to keep the rest of the palette to harder, clean materials which suit the architecture of the pavilion.

All this has resulted in a space that is warm and inviting. It perfectly fits the dual purpose of the space as a café and viewing point for the carriages and surrounding Park.