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Triple E provide VariRoller Accoustic Banners for Battersea Arts Centre
UK – The terrible blaze at Battersea Arts Centre in 2015 sent shockwaves through the local community and the performing arts sector as the venue succumbed to a fire destroying much of the building infrastructure and completely destroying the roof of the Grand Hall. However, fast forward four years and Battersea Arts Centre has been rebuilt and reopened with the fire contributing a notable and visible chapter to the venue’s colourful history and the overall look of the venue’s re-design.
Acousticians Gillerion Scott required variable acoustics to serve the wide programme of events planned for the Grand Hall of Battersea Arts Centre. Theatre consultants Theatreplan had the task of engineering a solution and explored possible product options with Triple E whose roller banner solution emerged as the most practicable solution. The design and manufacturing challenge was not insignificant but was one readily taken on by Triple E.
“One of our areas of expertise is the provision of variable acoustic solutions,” explains David. “And so when Theatreplan approached us we were excited to be part of this important and iconic rebuild project in South West London.”
Roger Fox, director of Theatreplan takes up the story. “Theatreplan became involved with Battersea Arts Centre just as the rebuild got underway following the devastating fire of 2015. A major part of this rebuild was developing the roof structure and fitting all the technical elements, including a requirement for variable acoustics, into a tight roof environment. Triple E's VariRollers seemed the answer and we were delighted to work alongside Triple E as we are well aware of their ingenuity and their willingness, and capabilities when it comes to working in challenging and unusual spaces.”
The VariRoller is always customised and built to suit the needs of each installation space. Triple E work to high standards and the product has a proven track record in other venues including Sherborne School, Chetham’s School of Music, Fairfield Halls Croydon and Storey's Field Centre Cambridge. The VariRoller banners are silent when they unroll, and allow the space to absorb, echo and reverb varying the acoustic requirements as required for each different production or event they serve.
The VariRoller banners were purchased by Centre Stage Engineering who carried out the complex installation in the roof space of Battersea Arts Centre’s Grand Hall. All of the work had to be carried out prior to the fitting of the intricate decorative lattice roof structure designed by architects Haworth Tompkins.
Darren Green, project manager for Centre Stage Engineering explains: “Triple E offers a turnkey solution from design service through to the delivery of the product ready for Centre Stage Engineering to install. This comprehensive service allows a seamless working relationship with Triple E alongside the theatre consultant for each project. The team at Triple E are very accommodating, and good communicators which helps us to achieve our collective goals for each bespoke design. We are currently working with Triple E on a couple of further installations as we are finding the products they offer are adaptable to multiple venue requirements as well as being easy to install.”
Jack Champion, head of production and technical at Battersea Arts Centre is delighted with the outcome of the VariRoller installation in the Grand Hall. “These variable acoustic banners have enabled us to open up the Grand Hall to a variety of different performances and events that otherwise we would not have been able to access. The VariRoller system has brought a new versatility to the Grand Hall and we are now seeing events as diverse as youth beatbox shows to live TV filming, swing bands and straight plays. They allow us to totally change the acoustics of a very large space with the touch of a button."
“Triple E are delighted to have risen to the challenge and to have played a part in assisting the rebuild and restoration project that ensures that Battersea Arts Centre is fit for purpose for arts performances now, and well into the future,” says David.
Jack has only praise for the team at Triple E. “I’ve used Triple E products at other venues I have worked at as well as now here at Battersea Arts Centre. Triple E are reliable, approachable and professional. They offer products which are well made and well supported, and they have a great approach to problem solving in order to ensure the overall aim of the project is delivered. It makes this kind of complex installation all the easier from an end client perspective!”
With a venue which welcomes over 160,000 people a year through the doors, there is no doubt that the legacy of the rebuild, and the skill of the companies involved in the restoration and rebuild, will be enjoyed by many people, for many years to come.
2nd April 2019
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