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Movable stepped wall divides auditorium

Newcastle University's Frederick Douglass Centre has two lecture halls in a single space thanks to a system of sliding acoustic panels that moves through tiered seating

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The Frederick Douglass Centre auditorium: The final installation surpassed the client's demands for acoustic privacy with a 59dB DnTw on-site tested performance.
The Frederick Douglass Centre auditorium: The final installation surpassed the client's demands for acoustic privacy with a 59dB DnTw on-site tested performance.

Newcastle University’s Frederick Douglass Centre is a £34 million flagship building that delivers state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities. Named in honour of the US anti-slavery campaigner, the centre accommodates up to 2,200 students and includes a 200-seat lecture theatre, a range of seminar rooms and exhibition spaces and a 750-seat auditorium.

Seating space in the impressive stepped auditorium is maximised thanks to the installation of a bespoke set of moveable wall systems that divide the room into two separate lecture halls, each seating 500 and 250 students. 

Moveable partitions specialist Style worked in close collaboration with architect Sheppard Robson and contractor Sir Robert McAlpine to design a solution that was fully automatic, concurrently moving a double skin of Dorma Hüppe sliding wall panels up through the tiered seating. 

  • Individual panels have been precision cut to match the rising stairs.
    Individual panels have been precision cut to match the rising stairs.
  • A double skin of Dorma Hüppe panels automatically slides into place.
    A double skin of Dorma Hüppe panels automatically slides into place.
  • Lectures can run concurrently either side of the divided wall thanks to exceptional acoustic performance.
    Lectures can run concurrently either side of the divided wall thanks to exceptional acoustic performance.
  • Style’s innovative, automatic partitioning solution allows the auditorium to be quickly divided at the press of a button.
    Style’s innovative, automatic partitioning solution allows the auditorium to be quickly divided at the press of a button.
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Style worked with Dorma Hüppe to design two bespoke, fully automated, stepped acoustic moveable walls based on the Variflex ComfortDrive K system. These are deployed back-to-back with automatic acoustic seals engaging as each panel meets the next, perfectly closing off the tiered elements and delivering impressive acoustic privacy. The final installation delivers a 59dB DnTw on-site tested performance. A sophisticated impact safety system ensures staff and student safety during panel movement.

'Everything on this project was a world first, from the stepped design, the installation challenges, the building structure and the site tests,' says Andy Gibson, Style director for the north. 'Our installation engineers faced new challenges and demands every day, but we were proud to deliver, on time, our most challenging moveable wall installation to date.'

For more information and technical support, visit: style-partitions.co.uk

Contact:

01202 874044

london@style-partitions.co.uk

Style partitions 

 

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