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Buildings, Maintenance, Refurbishment & Design

Armstrong Ceilings reign at Kings Wood ceilings from Armstrong feature in a university campus refurbishment


ngineering students at the University of Edinburgh are getting a little extra help with their studies from Armstrong Ceilings.

Wood lay-in tiles and a customised wood canopy are helping to define and soften a new student work/social area as part of the interior refurbishment of the university’s Hudson Beare Building on its Kings Buildings campus south of the city centre.

The 50m2 canopy comprises 1200mm x 600mm US cherry veneer plain wood planks, some containing smoke detectors and movement-sensitive lighting, with a Vector edge detail which gives a narrow 6mm reveal for a sleek, monolithic look, within a Prelude 24 XL2 grid. This is complemented in the same room by three rows of 600mm x 600mm plain US cherry MicroLook lay-in tiles, installed between plasterboard, on a Prelude 15 XL2 grid, as well as 16m2 of these tiles in circulation areas. In addition, the main lecture theatre, which is one of the early purpose-built concrete lecture theatre structures and Grade B listed, featured 180m2 of Armstrong’s 1200mm x 600mm Ultima OP tiles installed on a Prelude XL2 grid. These mineral tiles perform acoustically to Sound Absorption Class A. The £330,000 project was the subject of a “Pimp my school” project to improve the student social/break out study space. This resulted in the opening up of a larger room to create an additional such space.

There were also cosmetic improvements to teaching rooms and toilets, with a third phase comprising the removal of a small unused servitor’s box and lobby to accommodate a mobile staffed coffee bar and some lounge seating. Armstrong Ceilings were supplied by SIG Interiors and installed in the 850m2 single-storey 1950/60s concrete crosswall building by Universal Ceilings in two phases, culminating by March 2014.

Adrian Cavaye, an interior designer at the university’s design group in estates and buildings, has used Armstrong Ceilings for the past 27 years, most recently on a refurbishment of the Edinburgh College of Art.

He said: “We specified Armstrong for their range of timber tile and grid solutions. There were no set performance or aesthetic requirements but the finish quality was as I would expect from Armstrong.” He added: “We made use of an under-used room to increase the student space by incorporating some group discussion desks, individual study/laptop work desks and lounge seating. It was this area primarily that I wanted to soften the feel of the ceiling by incorporating a flyover timber veneered ceiling.

“This creates a more defined, quieter work area and softens the feel with the wood finish. The lay-in grid tiles were set in a standard MicroLook grid but the contrast in finish between a plastered ceiling and wood always works.”

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