ACC Liverpool sits beside Liverpool’s famous waterfront, just beside the historic Albert Dock. Opened by the Queen in 2008 to celebrate Liverpool’s year as European City of Culture, the development comprises a 10,600 seat arena and a state-of-the-art convention centre.
As well as the multi-purpose arena there is a conference auditorium with the capacity to seat 1,500 delegates. Using two rotating drum sections, this space can be transformed into three separate auditoriums using the touch of a button.
In 2008 the ACC won a North West RIBA award for its architectural merit.
The complex has since been extended to include the Exhibition Centre Liverpool, making it Europe’s only interconnected arena, conference and exhibition centre.
Sandy Brown was engaged by architects Wilkinson Eyre to advise on the acoustic design and specifications. This included:
• environmental noise criteria and noise break out to nearby residential premises
• sound insulation
• separation of internal spaces
• room acoustic performance in multi-purpose spaces.
Special acoustic features
At the time of the design, the area around the arena was largely undeveloped but residential and hotel developments were proposed. Control of noise egress from amplified concerts to the surrounding area was therefore a key consideration during the design. The arena was designed as an internal room surrounded by circulation and support areas to create an acoustic buffer zone to outside. Sandy Brown advised on a bespoke roof design to the arena which was specially developed as a double-leaf construction separated by roof trusses as the first in the UK to provide a high level of sound insulation with a sound absorbing liner on the inner face.
The design needed to consider that events take place simultaneously in the arena, multi-purpose hall and auditorium, including events with amplified music in the arena or multi-purpose hall. High performance lobbied service doors were necessary between these spaces and to the loading bay so that noise transfer from one event to the other remained inaudible to the audience.