The start of the new academic year at Sherborne Girls School in Dorset has seen a welcome addition to the impressive school campus. The Merritt Centre - a new arts centre - is now fully operational.
Students will be able to take full advantage of the facilities including the Gransden Hall - a new build recital hall which has been fitted out with twelve custom designed Triple E VariRoller variable acoustic banners.
Triple E responded to architect Burrell Foley Fischer's request to provide a full project service for the install which included the design, manufacture, construction, testing with bespoke laminated fabric and installation planning.
"The brief was to produce effective acoustic baffling to ensure the hall was tuned for a variety of performance types as required by Sherborne Girls' extensive music programme throughout the year," explains David Edelstein of Triple E. "We also had to ensure that the design and finish of the banner assemblies reflected the aesthetics of Burrell Foley Fischer's design for the brand new recital hall. Our VariRoller system formed the basis of the design. To meet this requirement we manufactured bespoke veneered boxes to house the VariRollers, which were profiled to fit neatly into the angled roof space."
Mark Foley, Burrell Foley Fischer takes up the story. "Triple E provided a cost effective and good quality solution for us in the new Merrit Centre at Sherborne Girls School, where the live acoustic of this voluminous recital hall needed to be attenuated to levels that were acceptable for speech and recorded sound. They were knowledgeable and approachable and had to slot in with a programme that required precise dimensions and finishes to match those used elsewhere in the hall. The quality of finish, installation and product have lived up to our high expectations and has contributed to the overall success of the project."
For the installation of the VariRollers, Triple E contracted the installation company Hiykon Group. Stephen Brown, Operations Director, Hiykon Group is an installer with over eighteen years' experience of production venue installations and was pleased to work with Triple E.
"This was our first time installing VariRollers, although we have installed similar banners with Triple E. The VariRoller offers a neat and effective solution for spaces such as the one at Sherborne Girls' recital hall as they offer user-friendly operation for bringing the banners in or out to suit the requirements of the venue at any particular time. VariRollers are the ideal solution for a multi-purpose room in an academic setting like the Gransden Hall in the Merritt Centre where at times windows or displays need to be accommodated; but when the space needs to benefit from the acoustic properties of the roller material you can transform the venue with a quick and efficient push of a button."
Stephen continues that "from an installation point of view, the frames and rollers along with the wooden boxing panels needed to go up as one. Once in place, the installation of each VariRoller was quite straight forward. The cloths were hung at low level and by using the remote control and some local power we installed the acoustic material onto the rollers. With the banners in place, the limits were very easy to set."
The results have been well received by the school and the music department staff are delighted with the difference the VariRollers have made to the sound when performing. "They are amazingly effective and they are ideal for the flexibility in sound depending on the instruments performing. They also allow flexibility with regards to the level of resonance and clarity of sound varying with each instrument and size of the audience," comments a senior member of the teaching staff.
The start of the new academic year looks to have the perfect acoustic solution for the presentation of a varied and fascinating arts programme at the school.