Company: The GDK Group

Benediction Cafe is well known on the Auckland café scene for fantastic food and great coffee. However the hard surface construction of the building offset this with high levels of sound generated by both people and equipment.

Acoustic transmission played a large part in the build-up of sound levels. The two key areas of generation were from the lower level (Counter and kitchen area, (voices and equipment)) and the upper floor level, (patrons’ voices). The noise created at the lower level rose and sound flanking developed over the first floor balustrade and into the main cafe area.

The existing interior included suspended services, concrete walls and ceilings and a large area of glazing which reduced available acoustic options.

The brief from the owner was to reduce reverberation and sound flanking to enhance speech intelligibility and staff and patron comfort. It was important that the open feel of the café was retained without masking the original interior features, such as the glazed balustrade.

Four sound absorbing elements were used creating a decorative, practical and functional design. They include a printed decorative / acoustic feature panel, plywood suspended acoustic ceiling clouds, a micro-perforated acoustic baffle balustrade and soft acoustic panels to tie the end wall into the overall design.

The table tops were also replaced using 13mm compact laminate, which was primed, printed with Benediction’s logo and coated with polyurethane. Being UV stable the tables can also be used outside.

With pre and post fitout tests showing an average sound reduction of 9.04dB (equating to almost half of the original sound level) post fitout, GDK’s custom acoustic products have delivered a softer, quieter environment for staff and customers.

For a PDF of works and finishes please email Mark Lawrence from GDK Group.