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Vanguardia have developed the sitewide acoustic design for Gateshead Quays, a brand new £260m multi-use development in North-East England

29 July 2021

Vanguardia have developed the sitewide acoustic design for a brand new £260m multi-use development in North-East England due for completion in 2023, consisting of a 12,500 capacity Arena, Exhibition and Conference centres, multiple meeting rooms and two hotels. Having been involved early in the design process, Vanguardia have worked closely with the design team, contractor and client to ensure that all areas throughout the entire scheme are optimised for their specific use, including the arena bowl, exhibition halls, meeting rooms, conference centres and large transitional areas.

We strongly believe that the success of the arena as a venue is heavily reliant on the quality of the acoustics and the sound insulation of the building envelope. With this in mind, the internal acoustic design has been focussed on minimising any strong reflections and acoustic defects while attaining a suitable reverberation time and low frequency response. Carrying out detailed assessment of the environmental noise impact from entertainment noise and building services, we have helped to engineer a solution that allows for maximum venue flexibility with minimal noise impact on the surrounding area. Working closely with the local authority throughout this process has resulted in planning consent being granted whilst costly over-engineering of the design has been avoided.

Design of the exhibition hall and conference centre has proved to be a key challenge on the project, with multi-use flexibility imperative to the value of the spaces. Both the internal acoustic finishes and sound insulation for adjoining partitions have been developed to allow for varying noise levels in adjacent spaces. The exhibition hall acoustics have been designed to facilitate smaller concerts where the arena is not available for use whilst retaining the key acoustic characteristics expected for exhibitions, trade shows, conferences and banquets. Delivering a solution that meets the hotel operator brand standards has driven the acoustic design for the hotels. The key focus has been to ensure acoustic comfort in bedrooms whilst accommodating alternative use spaces within the same building.