Following a €12million restoration, iconic Dublin landmark Bewley’s Grafton Street, has reopened to offer seating for 500. The new interior has been described as ‘the same but different.’ Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic ceilings are installed throughout to create a comfortable acoustic environment and meet the aesthetic demands of this historic space.
The venerable establishment opened in 1927. The careful restoration of its interior has seen many original features restored to their former glory, including the stained-glass windows, historic façade and the open fireplaces. There are new additions too, including the expansion of the in-café bakery which enables customers to see Bewley’s pastry chefs and bakers create delicious treats – the city’s favourite, Bewley’s Mary Cake, among them.
The original Bewley’s interior features mahogany panelling, hand-printed wallpaper and mosaic floors that could generate distracting background noise, particularly when the café is busy. We advised Gilligan Architects on the most suitable acoustic ceiling to control reverberation and harmonise with the building’s period features.
Architect Brendan Duffy commented, “The introduction of Rockfon acoustic ceilings throughout, direct fixed to the plasterboard ceilings minimised the visual impact on the building fabric, particularly the ceiling covings, allowing these to be expressed. In addition, the spray applied finish to the Rockfon panels provides a seamless ceiling in keeping with the original plasterboard ceilings and concealing the use of a modern acoustic treatment.”
What is Rockfon Mono Acoustic?
This unique product combines the elegance of a seamless ceiling with Class A sound absorption, previously thought only possible with modular suspended ceilings. To create a continuous appearance the panels are installed and finished with a technologically advanced acoustic render to create an elegant monolithic surface. The product offers complete flexibility and design freedom. It can fit around curved and angled edges, making it ideal for retrofit projects.
How noise impacts on taste
Scientists have discovered there is a direct link between the ear and the nose which may explain why noise can affect what we taste – meaning dining out is not just about the food. Certain sounds can enhance taste - classical music may enhance the perceived quality of food and wine. However, background noise can overwhelm our senses, causing us to lose concentration and impact negatively on how we experience the food we consume.
Reducing the echo
Irwin Carr Consulting Senior Consultant Acoustician, Malachy McAlister, advised on improvements to the acoustics at Bewley’s. Having taken reverberation time measurements, he is impressed with how effectively Rockfon Mono Acoustic reduced the level of reverberation. “We were able to determine the additional absorption provided by the new ceiling by undertaking acoustic tests before and after its installation. Our measurements show the acoustic ceiling reduced the reverberation time from 1.1 seconds to 0.7 seconds which represents a 35% reduction in sound reverberation.”
The client is delighted with the ceiling and the atmosphere it helps create. Andrew Griffin, Bewley’s Grafton Street Assistant General Manager noticed a big improvement in the noise level straight away. “Before the new ceiling, the noise levels could get very high, making it difficult to hear what customers were saying. Now the feel of the café has changed; it is much calmer and more relaxed.”
No product can match it
We worked closely with the team at Reilly Ceiling & Drywall on the ceiling installation. “Integrating services with new ceilings can sometimes be a headache, but the Rockfon team were always available to help with any queries which made the process much easier. Rockfon Mono Acoustic is simple to work with and fits around the different elements with ease. There is no product on the market that can match it for acoustic performance and flexibility of design and installation.” The ceiling offers Class A2 fire protection and dimensional stability at up to 100% relative humidity, and allows for easy incorporation of lighting, air conditioning and ventilation systems.
Bewley’s, Grafton Street