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Jesmond Gardens Primary School

In the 2013 Awards, Apex won the “Highly Commended” Award for the Jesmond Gardens project.


Jesmond Gardens Primary scooped four RIBA awards for 2013. Apex Acoustics was proud to provide the entire acoustic design for this exciting new school project in Hartlepool. The project, led by architects ADP, won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) North East Award, the RIBA North East Sustainability Award, the RIBA North East Building of the Year and a RIBA National Award.

RIBA judges said: “All the spaces feel well balanced, are seamlessly integrated and every space works hard.”
The RIBA awards added to a Civic Trust Commendation and a RICS Award clinched by the project earlier in the year.

The £7m building is a functional triumph – SATS results have already improved since it opened in the summer of 2012 and the 315-pupil school is now oversubscribed for the early years, with absenteeism reduced and the children’s aspirations increased.
Professor Stephen Heppell, a leading authority on design and technology in learning, formally opened the school. He said:

This is the best building I have ever opened. The acoustics are superb. It’s a world class school with such attention to detail. Every detail matters because every detail improves learning.

Jack Harvie-Clark said:

Enabling the main teaching bases to be used as a single large space or in a more cellular fashion was achieved by the use of specially-developed acoustic curtains. These provide good sound insulation between spaces to effectively control distracting noise when closed, and yet are lightweight enough to be drawn by the children without assistance.

The curtains are also used between the classbase areas and circulation routes, when acoustic privacy is required between them. As well as providing effective sound insulation between spaces, the curtains also significantly contribute to the sound absorption in the spaces, which helps to reduce ambient and background noise levels and increase speech intelligibility.

The acoustic scheme includes absorbent wall panels, along with the absorbent curtains to reduce this risk, and this has been successful in overcoming focussing problems. The absorption in the circulation areas is also custom-made, with timber battens spaced apart and absorbent material laid over. A similar arrangement is used in the hall, with large wall areas covered in hit-and-miss timber battens to provide the necessary absorption to control flutter echoes in this space.

Jesmond Gardens Primary School Hall, with bespoke sound absorbent treatment contributing to the aesthetic appeal.
Apex Acoustics Ltd Design Works, William St, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE10 0JP Head office: 0191 620 0750 Midlands: 0115 708 0750

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