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Special-Projects / Birkdale


Established in 1982, Birkdale has undergone a radical transformation since its formation, with the Buckinghamshire-based firm evolving to become one of the UK’s leading suppliers of gate and fencing accessories. And in 2018, the company opted to renovate its headquarters in High Wycombe and knowing our reputation, they asked for our help.

With a large, open plan sales office and neighbouring break out space dominating the design, the potential for reverberation and a lack of privacy was high.

The main part of the sales office is normally populated with people, all making phone calls and going about their daily business. Naturally, within an open plan space such as this, those conversations can blur into one, causing distractions, reducing privacy and potentially leading to a feeling of overwhelm at work.

To address this, we installed lattice-shaped Whisper rafts over the main sales office and combined this with a decorative Acoustic aRT panel to help catch and stop noise travelling at source. And to further guard against the threat of distractions, inaudibility and a loss of productivity, we also equalised ambient sound levels by installing Humm, our digital sound masking system.

Although the bulk of the sales area was open plan in design, third spaces and smaller working areas were created to aid productivity and privacy.

Off the main sales area, we provided a six-person Cube, to provide an acoustically comforting retreat for those wanting to engage in collaborative work.

Smaller, group-focused office rooms were also present in the design and in one of these small co-working areas, a second Acoustic aRT panel was placed to soak up noise and reverberation caused by the surrounding glass walls.

With a café-style kitchen and games area, the issue of noise and reverberation was also present in the office’s main breakout area. Again, we installed acoustic treatment at source by installing some Whisper panels above the table tennis table. Additionally, we also provided an additional two Cubes for employees who wanted a quiet retreat during their breaks.

As Birkdale welcome a lot of customers and trading partners onto site, careful consideration was also given to the acoustic and aesthetic qualities of the site’s meeting rooms. Hexagonal ReSound panels, matching Birkdale’s brand colours, lined the walls of two dedicated client-facing areas. These rooms were also populated with furniture from our then newly launched Effectif range.

In the boardroom, 3D tiles were carefully positioned to create an acoustically optimal space, perfect for bother internal- and customer-facing meetings.

Adjoining the boardroom is the company’s showroom and the decision was made early on to open up and combine this space where possible.

Our popular Solo system was chosen, allowing users to effectively split one large space into two and vice versa quickly and easily.


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