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Special-Projects / Grosvenor-House-Whisper

Grosvenor House, Sheffield - A Whisper Wonder

Sheffield’s Heart of the City II is one of the biggest economic projects in the north of England. The scheme, backed by the local council, will overhaul the centre of the Steel City and create a vibrant, mixed-use zone, suitable for all.

At the heart of this £500m plan, is Grosvenor House, a brand-new six-floor development featuring 140,000 sq ft of office space that’s been described as “one of the most important developments that’s happened in Sheffield in at the last ten years”. Creatif had a hand in delivering the Cat A fit out for the end client, a renowned name in global banking.

The bank in question has a long history in Sheffield and jumped at the chance at moving into the city centre, signing up as Grosvenor House’s anchor tenant on a 15-year lease.

Destined to accommodate the bank’s Yorkshire workforce, the design drawn up by AXIS Architecture and fit out firm Styles & Wood is an embodiment of a perfect workspace.

The office features a rooftop plaza, a gigantic, glass-lined atrium, a zoned approach to working and there’s even an on-site gym in the building’s basement and the entire scheme made brilliant use of our polyester acoustic material, Whisper.

Working alongside both the architects and designers, we utilised Whisper in a variety of creative ways to aid with zoning in the predominantly open plan offices and also prevent sound transferring between spaces.

The main way that this was achieved was through the consistent use of fixed Whisper screens. Each set, carefully positioned between different zones on each floor, featured a custom design that related to the space it would be creating. For example, on one level, in an area populated with numerous desks and workstations, a design containing numerous cogs working together in perfect harmony was chosen to symbolise – much like the bank’s workforce.

Similarly, in the atrium, where the screens were used to enclose a canteen from a parkland space, a biophilic design was utilised to reinforce the space’s link to nature. Another set, installed near a breakout zone, featured a series of tennis balls, signifying that the area was to be used for gaming.

Within that main breakout area – located in the middle of the floorplan – we were also asked to provide a further acoustic zoning system and we achieved that with the installation of a Float Whisper system.

Comprising of two tracks running across each other and Class C acoustic panels, the Float system allows the bank’s staff to configure this gaming and auditorium area in several ways. Depending on the configuration chosen, they can fashion partial, open or fully closed acoustic partitions.

A second, linear Float Whisper system was installed in the basement, to separate space in Grosvenor House’s very own on-site gym.

Whisper’s acoustic properties work perfectly here, helping to stop noise from transferring between spaces designed for group and individual workouts.

Another way Whisper was used in the office’s design was in the creation of sliding acoustic doors for a series of meeting rooms. Again, these panels were custom-cut and then fixed onto a suspended ceiling track to form lightweight, easy-to-use, acoustic partition to open and close these private areas.

Finally, to counteract the threat of reverberation and noise transfer, we manufactured rows of 48mm baffles. These ‘double-sized baffles’ were installed at fixed widths above a large, multi-purpose area bordered by solid glass, wooden partitions and a large-scale Float system that we manufactured.

After all work was completed, the bank’s staff moved across Sheffield and into their new premises in the city centre and almost immediately, positive reviews of the workspace came flooding in, with senior staff and industry colleagues describing it as a “fabulous working environment.”

In truth, we’d go one better.

Thanks to a world-class design and the consistent – not to mention ingenious - use of Whisper throughout, we’d call it a perfect workspace.

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