Gloucestershire University has opened two new audio facilities designed by White Mark to support undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Gloucestershire recruited White Mark early on in the project to help write the technical specifications for the rooms.
White Mark's MD, David Bell, commented: “Getting it right from the start is crucial for any project and we were delighted that the University of Gloucestershire adopted such a sensible approach to the design and build of their new facilities, by working closely with tWO, we ensured that these facilities properly met the needs of the end user. They also significantly outperform the ridiculously low standards set by building regulations which, sadly, many educational facilities still use as their only guide.
One of White Mark's many challenges included isolating the two new facilities', which were built on the top floor of an existing building, from other teaching spaces.
The university's academic subject leader of music and media, Dr Matthew Lovett, said: “We have music spaces underneath the new rooms so it was important to achieve full isolation across all of our work spaces. There were also some initial challenges in terms of ramp access for disabled students and creating a floating floor on an existing concrete structure. However, White Mark’s design overcame these issues and we are delighted with the end result.
“After our first meeting we were very happy to include them in the tender process for the brief. The standard of their work is very high and their absolute professionalism came through from outset. We are also pleased with how quickly and smoothly White Mark and tWO pulled this project together – we started building at the end of May and the rooms were ready to use by the beginning of the new academic year.”
The new Dubbing Theatre will be used to teach sound design and sound for screen media to students on its BA Animation, BA Film and BA Television degree courses along with MA Film Making. The studio has a separate vocal booth and can space up to 20 people. It is also kitted with an Avid S3 desk and Genelec monitoring that can be configured for either 5.1 or 7.1 surround.
The second new facility, Sound Lab, has been engineered for the BA Creative Music Technology course and the MA in Creative Music Practice. The large space can fit up to 50 people and is isolated, as well as equipped with a special truss system so 22 Genelec monitors can be mounted in any number of configurations, along with two subwoofers. The listening environment is aimed at students studying immersive audio, sound design, live streaming and spatial sound for VR.
Lovett added: “We carry out extensive research to ensure that our courses meet market demand, and our investment in these new facilities is part of that process. For us, it’s essential that course design integrates with emergent technological developments, ensuring that our students are more than equipped to meet current and future creative and commercial opportunities head on.
“Students and their parents do shop around when it comes to choosing the right University and we want to make sure that the University of Gloucestershire is at the top of the list for music technology, it will also help us strengthen relationships with overseas universities, where we are collaborating at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.”