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The SSE Hydro

Opened in the autumn of 2013, the SSE Hydro in Glasgow is one of the very few venues in the world designed specifically for concerts. With the objective of attracting one million visitors per year, the iconic Foster + Partners designed building aims to become one of the top three global arenas.

The sound quality throughout the building is of paramount importance, not just in the 12,000 seat auditorium but also in the circulation areas. With crowds of people moving quickly through the space, controlling the amount of echo, reverberation and volume will help to keep the atmosphere calm and reduce stress. The architects turned to StoSilent Panel Robust for an aesthetically pleasing solution.

Gregor Milne, Associate at Foster + Partners commented that: "What we liked was the uniform colour and surface texture of the Sto product. We wanted an unbroken surface that followed the contours of the building and the StoSilent ceiling provided that solution."

The first floor circulation areas feature large expanses of exposed concrete and the StoSilent Panels are suspended at ceiling level to provide exceptional acoustic treatment and ensure unwanted reverberation is kept to a minimum.

The 15mm thick panels are made of 96% recycled glass and provide exceptional sound absorption levels of up to 0.75αw. The low weight of the panels minimise loads and the StoSilent Panel Robust reinforced acoustic board can be curved to fit the ceiling shape or, as in this instance, designed to follow the faceted design of the ceiling. This degree of design flexibility was essential to the specification in this landmark building.

The StoSilent Panels were finished with StoSilent Superfine, an acoustically transparent, lightly textured finish. In this instance, the finish was specified in natural white to contrast sharply with both the exposed concrete and blue feature walls. StoSilent Superfine is also available in an additional 465 colours from the StoColor System.

Sto Registered Acoustic Installer Roskel Contracts Ltd installed the 3,500 square metres of StoSilent Panel Robust on a hybrid version of the Sto SC400 grid to accommodate the rake and design of the building and concrete substructure.

Architects Foster + Partners have specified the Sto products on a number of occasions and had no hesitation in choosing this solution for an application where absolute confidence in the technical performance of the panels was essential. Additional support was provided by the Sto Acoustic Division, on hand to give technical advice and input into the design process. This support was of particular assistance to Main Contractor Lend Lease and registered installer Roskel. Regular site visits helped co-ordination and on-site technical support ensured the installation went as smoothly as possible.