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American black walnut for the Playhouse Theatre

The Playhouse Theatre Performing Arts Center of Geelong in Victoria (Australia) was once a dark place and almost claustrophobic. Now shows a rejuvenated appearance in which the American walnut provides extraordinary acoustic properties and occupies a prominent place in the palette of materials used that evoke the natural surroundings of the theater.

He had hardly done anything since built about 30 years ago, all that saw was brown all over“, explains Jill Smith, CEO of Caeg. “The physical structure of the theater had not problems, but aesthetically needed desperately to occupy it. The seats are falling apart and there were problems compliance with regulations on access. “The initial guidelines for the study of Studio 101 architecture consisted of light space, make it more welcoming and caring acoustics. “In a theater acoustics is a fundamental and the wood allows always satisfactorily address this question, “says Smith. Faced with the overwhelming dictatorship brown in the space, Richard Wiesbrock, one of the architects of Studio101, believed to have been reasonably limited give it a coat of paint and change the carpet and armchairs.

“Instead we chose by a solution which became the signal identity of the theater: we made a big emphasis the walnut finish of the seats, the baffles acoustic, the balustrades of the boxes and the boxes themselves and in general around the space. “He had already decided that the upholstery responsible to a local manufacturer, Geelong Textiles, but the search for a mechanism took seats suitable for prescribers Colombia. “There was left over materials a large job in the
USA. It was almost certainly going using walnut and the possibility of using these surpluses we ran out convincing “Wiesbrock explains. It is true that he could have
thought of as an Australian black butt timber orcy press but the choice for architects, was much more important the “honesty of expression of the art “than its origin. “If the wood has a color, it must remain most of the time possible as such, especially indoors. If we had used some other species such as Spotted Gum, could have led to a mixture of red, yellow and brown, lacking uniformity.

Other Australian species can be quite clear and certainly not wanted the bounce or reflect light. The walnut hue, however, and warmth make this species does not present any of these problems. “The nearby Otway Ranges State Forest was the inspiration to use natural woods and midrange green upholstery. Red spatter the bottom add a touch of drama. All other surfaces were painted into get a black opaque background walnut allowed to give the impression advanced or excel, and interacting with the large volume of space. International experts Marshall Dayacoustic improvements recommended for parallel chambers of the ground floor, the
back the acoustic stage and other bags.”To achieve optimal sound quality had to reflect the sound sending of again into the deep hollows theater for which the acoustic baffles walnut were perfect, “says Wiesbrock.

The architectural firm of Geelong specializes in design solutions wood-based materials and appreciates this because “they can do and get much more with her than
with any other material. “Some of the key advantages foundin American walnut used in the project were able to select quality to achieve visual consistency; durability and hardness coatings perfect vertical and ceilings of ceiling (hardness = 4.5 on the Janka scale), that comes from forests of hardwood ssustainably managed or excellent acoustic properties. Suspending the ceiling are integrated carefully in the theater space plywood panels 12 mm created with American walnut veneer act as acoustic baffles. These panels send the sound to the top stalls and hide the catwalks located above. Provide a ceiling wood that floats gently and add intimate  space. Plywood also allowed to use a steel substructure lighter, reducing both costs and time construction. To reduce waste fasteners used with screws and panels standardized width of 1,200 mm.

BY: American Hardwood Export Council

2012/09/27 by Gloria Llopis