RBA Acoustics

Universal Music – 4 Pancras Square

Project Overview

Universal Music are currently fitting out 4 Pancras Square, King’s Cross for their new London Headquarters. Part of the project involves moving their existing Live, Listening and Recording facilities from their current locations to the new building.

Project Goals

For the new Live Rooms, Universal gave the brief that they had to retain the functionality and performance of their existing high performance Live recording studio with the desire for more space if possible.

Their other facilities, e.g. Listening, Edit and Recording varied in type and location throughout their current buildings with some retro-fit into existing office use with minimal sound separation or acoustic treatment.

With the new spaces we had the flexibility to design from scratch to ensure sound transfer between rooms and the acoustic quality of the rooms themselves are designed for that purpose from the bottom up.

The key aim was to ensure all facilities perform significantly better that their existing use achieving a much higher level of acoustic quality.

Challenges

All specialist rooms require very high sound insulation to ensure that sound transfer both in and out is well controlled.

The Live room for example is located beneath their future office areas while being directly above a retail space. It transpired later into the project that the retail space is likely to be a jazz cafe with live music performances.

The rooms also had to be designed within the constraints of the existing building, for example the Live rooms contained glazing directly onto main roads on a busy bus route so consideration had to be given to control environmental noise break-in as well as sound transfer via the existing columns and cladding.

Benchmark Testing

RBA carried out sound insulation testing of Universal Music’s existing studio spaces to quantify the existing acoustic performances. This gave the client a clear understanding of the performance of their existing facilities enabling appropriate design targets to be quantified for the new facilities.

Box-In-Box

All specialist rooms have been designed using a box in box principle whereby the acoustic floor will be ‘floated’ on high performance acoustic isolation, the acoustic ceilings are supported from spring isolators. This forms an airtight acoustic box within the existing office floors.

High Performance Glazing

Windows between Live rooms were necessary to retain a visual link between the control room and the performing artists. A very high performance glazing solution was developed to ensure such windows maintined the necessary acoustic separation.

Project Details

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Client

Universal Music

Architect

Macfarlane Latter Architects

Location

Pancras Square, King’s Cross

Size

170,000 sq ft

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