In 2011, the Newcastle Students Union building in Haymarket underwent a facelift, and was refurbished to modernise its facilities with Internet cafes, a Subway, a Costa Coffee and other modern facilities.
An important feature was to make the space flexible – particularly as the building hosts such a multitude of activities throughout every day and evening.
Style was appointed by Faulkner Brown Architects and Contractor Bam to provide a solution which could offer small breakout rooms which opened into larger areas for meetings and other gatherings. Style was also given the challenge of partitioning off the bar whilst not in use – which was previously housed behind shutters.
“The bar posed an interesting challenge because it is curved,” said Andy Gibson, Style’s director for the North. “We therefore decided on a faceted track system to give a rounded look to the wall when the bar was closed.“And because we were working with an old building there were a number of challenges with sloped ceilings and uneven floors and walls.
“We therefore chose Dorma Variflex because of its wide choice of elements and stacking/parking arrangements. It is also extremely flexible even in the case of complicated room proportions, making it ideal for this project."
The final solution enables the bar area to be neatly closed off when not in use, and for the breakout areas to be sub-divided, or opened up, with ease so that they can accommodate a wide range of student activities, offering enough privacy for noisy activities to reside next to quieter ones thanks to Variflex’s acoustic qualities and the attention to detail by Style during the installation.
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