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Our Dynamic Earth

A major urban regeneration plan has transformed the former industrial site at Edinburgh's Royal Mile, steered by Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh & Lothians.

Prominent within this new development is the William Younger Centre, which houses the "Our Dynamic Earth" attraction. The permanent exhibition and education centre has been designed to provide better public understanding of the processes that have shaped the Earth by offering interactive and virtual simulations of natural processes such as earthquakes and volcanoes.

Substantial funding was provided by the Millennium Commission to celebrate the culture and landscape of Edinburgh, the city where James Hutton, father of modern geology, lived and worked in the 18th century.

A Noisy Neighbour

Within the Our Dynamic Earth complex is the multi-functional corporate venue, the "Stratosphere" – a large glass structure with a tented roof. The venue was licensed for late night events, but live bands and other music created an unacceptable noise level for the locals. The late night license was revoked, resulting in a serious loss of revenue for Our Dynamic Earth.

The decision was taken to purpose-build a soundproofed area within the existing Stratosphere. It had to be empathetic to the original design and act as an enclosed party area for up to 200 guests while allowing those guests to move freely to other parts of the Stratosphere without any noise being leaked.

The Edinburgh-based interior design and graphics company, 442 Design, was commissioned to design the enclosed area. The site was named "Ozone", to fit with the Our Dynamic Earth brand.

An innovative acoustic tunnel entrance was built. The double-curved structure, serves as both a dramatic entrance to Ozone and as an acoustic attenuator to break the sound. The Ozone area also features a retractable glass wall, allowing it to be sealed in the evening and fully open during the day.

The Ozone ceiling covered an area approaching 200m² and it had to follow the undulating contours of the perimeter glass wall, yet be strong enough to carry the necessary mechanical and electrical services as well.

A Classically Seamless Acoustic Ceiling

The StoSilent Panel system was used to meet these challenging conditions. The panels that make up the system have a high compressive strength thanks to a tough mesh reinforcement. They are lightweight, making them easy to cut on site – an important consideration when matching difficult contours.

The boards are manufactured from 96% recycled blown glass and have a porous surface with high levels of acoustic absorption over a wide range of frequencies, particularly in the speech frequency bands between 250-2000 Hz.

The system was completed with a coat of StoSilent Superfine acoustically transparent and fibre-free plaster, providing a seamless, suspended acoustic ceiling over the entire 200m² area.

Back in Business

Edinburgh City Council tested the new facility and reinstated the venue's late night licence.

Douglas Walker, Commercial Director of Our Dynamic Earth, said: "The completion of the Ozone will allow Dynamic Earth to re-target the corporate market for larger scale corporate entertainment, exhibitions, conferences and product launches, as well as being able to host private parties and weddings. We have a five star venue in the Ozone, with five star presentation, service and facilities and we are confident that the completion of the Ozone within the existing Stratosphere at Dynamic Earth will further enhance our reputation as a leading Scottish venue for all styles and sizes of events."

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Our Dynamic Earth

See the project page for Our Dynamic Earth.

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