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University of Manchester study space features Armstrong wall panels
The new Alan Gilbert Learning Commons at The University of Manchester features the first use in the UK of Armstrong Atelier’s hook-on metal wall panels.
A total of 1,500 square metre wall panels were installed on the 5,614 square metre redevelopment, which has achieved a BREEAM HE Excellent rating, over nine months by a team of 30 from Armstrong-approved Omega specialist sub-contractor Sound Interiors for main contractor Wates Construction.
The study space features perforated WH-1000 tiles on the top half and plain WH-1000 tiles on the bottom half of the vertical elements of the balcony floors lining the four-storey atrium. These are linked to a series of bespoke and demountable T-Clip F metal perforated ceiling planks by Armstrong’s metal atrium upstands in 80% gloss and transition bulkheads in a variety of colours. Some of the planks in communal areas on the first and second floors feature an acoustic fleece, while others 80% gloss to maximise light reflectance.
Designed by architects Sheppard Robson and managed by the University Library, the £24 million Learning Commons building features more than 1,000 flexible study spaces and an inspiring range of equipment and furnishings for individual and group study.
There are 400 PCs, laptop charging lockers, 30 bookable group study rooms, Skype area and media screens for presentation and group work. The wifi available throughout the building extends to the space outside and to the ground-floor café which is open to the public.
Sheppard Robson’s Jimi Estévez said: “The Armstrong systems offer concealment to services and provide considerable acoustic attenuation. They also reflect natural light deep into the building section due to the high gloss finish to the vertical panels in the atrium."
The Learning Commons concept was first developed in the US and Australia to describe a building where students could get together and learn, either on an individual basis or by working collaboratively in groups.