Library as a cultural hotspot needs controlled soundscapes

Library Permeke is not a usual library building. It doesn’t only house the public library of Antwerp; it also holds up a cultural meeting place for young and old residents of the city. It houses numerous activities and it attract many visitors to come and enjoy the library it calls for a sizable acoustic solution. 

The city of Antwerp combines great values with the public function of libraries. Not just for the students but for all residents of the city. In addition to the wide collection of literature that covers books, music, film, comics, Mangas and graphic novels in various language – the Permeke location also offers all kinds of cultural activities.

Different zones for better acoustic experience

When the visitors enter the library, they will experience an outstanding experience. The library is divided into different zones to create an optimal experience for various types of visitors. The downstair rooms are for entertainment and collaboration where groups can come, work together and join activities such as reading hours, reading clubs and workshops. 

In the auditorium, visitors can unfold their creative side and enjoy film, theatre, lectures, concerts and changing exhibitions. The upper floor is the quiet zone, and it offers quite areas for study, reading and work. The large collection of literature and reference works on this floor is a true reading paradise. In the city where more than 180 nationalities live, the library offers a whole department with books on different languages. It’s more just a library, it’s a platform to enjoy a peace of mind in beautiful surroundings.

Acoustic improvements creates beautiful soundscapes

The library opened in 2005 however, the staff complained about the poor sound environment where they felt stressed and uncomfortable. The city of Antwerp conducted a measurement that showed that the values didn’t meet the national standards for reverberation times. 

A solution was sought to improve the acoustics, but it was important that it didn't detract from the characteristic beam structure or the night cooling system in the system. The solution should keep the openness of the space, so more than 1,300 Rockfon® Universal™ Baffles were eventually installed in two different sizes (1200x300 and 1800x300 mm) in the Rockfon Color-all® colors Stone and Hemp.

The choice for baffles gave the library an industrial appearance of the special building while visitors can enjoy their visit to the library in peace. 

Library Permeke

Library Permeke
De Coninckplein 26
Antwerp, Belgium

Library Permeke

Location:Belgium
Interior designer:AG Vespa
Installer:S.G.M.
Tiles:Rockfon® Universal™ Baffle
Edges:4F
Dimensions:1200 x 300

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