Sound studio

Autex Acoustics makes the right noises with playful sound absorbing panels

autex acoustics combine aesthetics and performance

autex acoustic smart, durable solutions Not only do they fit into different architectural contexts, but they also contribute to greater well-being and better performance in working environments.

a wall at auckland mediaworks, made up of cubic panels of acoustic autex that are cut and reassembled in careful compositions to create an irregular, sculptural surface, depicting discordant noise

all images courtesy of acoustic altar

sound control becomes an architectural consideration

we all know that good design impacts the body not only through what we perceive with our eyes, but also through touch, sound and smell. how you feel in a designed space is paramount to its success. one particularly watched variable today is sound, the levels of which can seriously affect our health and happiness. indeed, acoustic control becomes an architectural consideration as essential as good lighting and good fluidity.

Autex Acoustics makes the right noises with playful sound absorbing panels
suspended acoustic screens divide a space in autex acoustics london showroom. sound absorbing waterfall panels pictured are made from 100% recyclable polyester

A growing understanding of how sound control can improve focus and productivity in the office environment, while increasing engagement and retention in educational environments, is prompting a new industry for sophisticated noise reduction systems. noise that integrate seamlessly into the design of a building. autex acoustics of new zealand is one such company, working hand in hand with architects, to push sound sculpting into new realms.

“Good design is not stagnant, it is constantly evolving. We have to get our hands dirty, push the boundaries and test the limits’

a leader in the field worldwide, acoustic altar has a pleasantly circular history. it began in 1967 when its founder, david robinson, arrived in the country from west yorkshire – historically the birthplace of textile manufacturing in the uk – and began making jute underfelts for flooring. the company has evolved over the years and moved towards acoustic design in 2000, with the aim of making soundproofing accessible and attractive to everyone.

Autex Acoustics makes the right noises with playful sound absorbing panels

Autex Acoustics makes the right noises with playful sound absorbing panels

Autex Acoustics makes the right noises with playful sound absorbing panels
groove is a new infinitely customizable finish applied to acoustic panels and wall coverings. precise angled cuts are applied to create patterns that blend and distort light

autex acoustics offers fully customizable sound solutions

firmly established in australasia, the company, which remained in the hands of the robinson family, then set up in california to serve the american market, and came full circle in 2014, when it returned to yorkshire to build a European headquarters. with manufacturing taking place in the former industrial town of huddersfield, operations in europe have expanded under the leadership of dan black. a showroom opened in london in 2019 and an outpost in germany is under development.

With everything from manufacturing to consultancy services now firmly rooted in the UK, Autex Acoustic is well placed to incorporate its unique creative customization of architectural sound solutions into European projects. the draw here, as in australasia and america, is an approach that engages architects and designers at all stages of a project so that integration is full and complete and sympathetic to the architectural vision.

Autex Acoustics makes the right noises with playful sound absorbing panels

Autex Acoustics makes the right noises with playful sound absorbing panels
one of the innovative custom walls developed in collaboration with architects warren and mahoney for mediaworks radio studios in auckland. this one represents the anechoic sound

this is something that is brilliantly exemplified in their collaboration with architects warren and mahoney on the design of mediaworks auckland. together they created three custom acoustic walls for common areas and high-performance treatments for the company’s radio studios. the acoustic wall of each station illustrates its unique personality and embodies sound abstraction; anechoic (mustard), noise (crimson) and beats (khaki). the various creative treatments involved cutting and assembling autex acoustics’ cube™ acoustic panel to create original geometric arrangements, minimizing waste while maximizing acoustic performance.

Autex Acoustics makes the right noises with playful sound absorbing panels
solutions for airborne sound absorption include grooved cubic panels, the undulating slatted structure of the frontier collection and the cloud-shaped circular horizon panels

the flexible acoustic system groove is the company’s latest innovative contribution to the world of soundproofing. Further aiding the cause of customization, it is essentially the semi-rigid cube transformed with precise incisions into malleable panels that can be wrapped or molded around curved or irregular surfaces. it has been used to enclose columns in a hallway, for example, to absorb sound in an area with heavy foot traffic.

for the australasian side of the business, many of its innovative efforts have been led by education customers, while in europe, black has widely introduced autex acoustics to the world of collaborative office spaces, working with spotify and apple, wework and the publishing industry, pears. his most recent project is a 54-storey development for the head office of the city bank of london.

With the pandemic-driven video conferencing culture creating a new need for soundproofing solutions in office meeting rooms, the call for innovation in acoustic design continues. “No one can predict the future, but we can shape it”, says black. “We are committed to maintaining the practice of brainstorming game-changing ideas on beers after work.” who knows what will happen next, but with the increased intelligence surrounding our relationship with sound, acoustic design is here to stay. with, we hope, afterwork beers.

guest feature by emma moore / architonic

simon keane-cowell I architonic

January 27, 2022