Sandy Brown is proud to have contributed to the design of the new European headquarters for Bloomberg LP and has been actively involved from 2011 to completion. Located in the heart of the City of London, the new 3.2-acre site comprises two linked buildings which provide approximately 1.1 million square feet of office and retail space.
Daniel Stringer, leading the acoustic design at Sandy Brown added: “The Client and architect have a real appreciation and awareness of the importance of good acoustics in the work place. They encouraged innovation and were willing to challenge accepted norms in relation to acoustic design. It has been a privilege to work on a truly Landmark Project with some of the most talented designers in the industry.”
The integrated ceiling design is a prime example of outstanding engineering functionality, distinctive design and excellent acoustics. As well as facilitating sound absorption, the unique geometry of the petal design provides sound diffusion helping to improve acoustic privacy in the open plan environment.
This design overcomes a common acoustic issue associated with perforated metal ceilings which typically provide minimal absorption of oblique angle sound reflections.
The iconic Vortex space created by three inclined curved timber shells is finished with micro-perforated timber panels.
This was designed to mitigate unwanted sound focusing and to control excessive reverberant noise build up. This was done sparingly, allowing an acoustic presence to be developed without deadening the space.
Auralisations and audio simulations were used extensively through the design stages to convey acoustic concepts. This gave the Client sonic perspective, enabling them to make informed decisions rather than relying on the often bewildering objective descriptors used to define acoustic criteria.
When developing strategies for the sound attenuation of the breathing building facade, auralisations enabled the Client to understand the implications of environmental noise ingress in the context of a working office. The ventilation openings, integrated into the building facade fin design, were assessed in great detail to ensure the optimum balance between noise control and airflow.
The internal layout embraces and supports the Client’s values encouraging community and collaboration. Extensive research and development was undertaken in relation to acoustic comfort for open plan working.
Office mock ups and subjective trials were commissioned to explore the acoustic effects of different seating layouts, as well as emerging sound masking and open plan video conferencing technologies.
State of the art Media Support Spaces were designed to provide world class functionality and optimised acoustics. Maintaining the high levels of sound insulation was a real challenge due to their location close to one of the main service arteries, with a plethora of services passing above and below.
Making this work in practice was accomplished by close collaboration and coordination of the multiple designers and disciplines involved.
Cutting edge electro-acoustic technologies have been used to provide flexible room acoustics for several of the ‘Special Areas’. The Meyer Sound ‘Constellation’ system provides sophisticated sonic flexibility to simulate the natural acoustics of any space from conference centres to concert halls. Strict control of reverberation was necessary to facilitate the system’s optimum performance and this was achieved through innovation and collaboration.
Foster + Partners understood the value of sound absorption, sound diffusion and the effects these properties have on acoustic control. This appreciation and willingness to integrate acoustic and architectural design is exemplified in the double height Multi-Purpose Space.
The demanding acoustic criteria required for Constellation is realized in part by a visually stunning curved wall of glass and timber. The individual elements are set at contrasting angles mitigating any sound focusing and scattering sound reflections to adjacent surfaces finished with sound absorption.
The building is a testament to how good acoustic design can be seamlessly integrated into outstanding architecture. Sandy Brown believes that the work carried out for Bloomberg LP redefines the standard for office acoustics at its very best.