The judges noted that a practical and creative approach had been adopted which had enabled the project to go ahead in what was otherwise an improbable site for a cinema.
Traditional uses for railway arches are typically light industrial use, car workshops, fabrication businesses and storage units, namely those that were already either generating their own noise or were able to tolerate higher levels of noise. In recent years, as British Rail has begun to sell off its 4000+ arches for general development, the shift has been towards restaurants, coffee shops and offices being squeezed into these spaces.
When we were approached to investigate the use of railway arches for cinema use, it was obvious that this would be a challenge, as surely the space was at odds for the quiet noise conditions required for such use.
The three screen bespoke cinema is located on the Battersea Power Station site installed within railway arches beneath the main lines serving London Victoria National Rail station. Extensive noise and vibration surveys were conducted within the railway arches in order to determine the scale of the problem. To achieve suitable internal noise levels within the completed screens a series of sound insulation measures were proposed while working within the constraints of the site.
Working closely with the Architect and Structural Engineer, a metal framework was proposed which was lined with dense boarding and isolated from the floor slab forming a fully isolated shell. An isolated lightweight floor was also installed in order to limit the amount of tactile vibration into the cinema seats.
A significant reduction in intrusive noise and vibration has been achieved within the completed Auditoria leading to a highly unique space for cinema goers to enjoy.
The Cinema is now fully open and well worth a visit to enjoy the Full Dolby Atmos surround sound, laser projection as well as great food and drink!