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Episode 30: Civic, Community & Culture - Well-being focused acoustical design - Adam Cossey - Hawkins\Brown

Episode 30: Adam Cossey - Hawkins\Brown

Civic, Community & Culture - Well-being focused acoustical design

In this episode we look at the growing trend for well-being, and the interrelated role of acoustics, in the design and build of commercial offices, educational libraries and town halls; with Adam CosseyPartner at Hawkins\Brown.

Established in 1988 Hawkins\Brown is now the 7th largest UK practice, working in a wide range of sectors including residential, infrastructure, education, workplace and civic, community and culture [CCC]. Adam leads the CCC sector which is involved in a number of projects including community and Higher Education libraries as well as a number of Town Hall projects providing new workplace environments for local authorities.

Hawkins\Brown employs a global team of 300, working in offices of around 20 people in centres including London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Los Angeles. Adam talks of some of the in-house testing and experimentation that has taken place within their own studios, which has shown that, with the growth of hybrid working environments, desk to person ratios can be reduced from 6 desks per 10 people, to as low as 3 to 10. 

Treated correctly, less desks can equal improved acoustic comfort, more biophilic planting, collaborative spaces, and break out zones for one to one Zoom calls; all improving the wellbeing of the occupants. 

Adam shares his experiences working on:

  • The new University of Bristol Library - a world class facility for all, to support and enhance the services offered by the University’s broader library and study centres network. It will strengthen the University’s ability to provide high quality study spaces, programmes and events, and services to reach out to an increasing number of new students, researchers and academics.
  • The Grade II listed Waltham Forest Town Hall and Assembly Hall, along with the surrounding landscape, which recently, have sensitively been transformed into a place where council staff, local business and residents come together. 

Adam states that only a few years ago, the specification of sustainable materials and solutions and the consideration of accessibility and inclusivity in design were ‘nice to have bolt-ons’, which have now become absolute must-haves. With show host Simon Gosling, he explores the need and hope that the specification of acoustic products, to enable well-being design, will also become par of the course. 

In the meantime, they can easily be sourced in Quiet Mark’s Acoustics Academy - a free to use online platform further equipping and empowering architects, builders and designers with a guide to expertly verified leading acoustic solutions for every building application area.