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A beautiful solution for the Carnegie Pavilion

24 Aug 11 The Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Metropolitan University wanted to create a unique and inviting Pavilion that would provide world-class media and players’ facilities along with hospitality and teaching space all under one roof.

The Carnegie Pavilion was designed by Will Alsop of Alsop Architects who took the very exacting brief and turned it into a reality.

The aim of the Pavilion was to offer University teaching facilities during the academic year, but then also provide media and players’ facilities throughout the international cricket season. In term-time on average, 850 students in tourism, hospitality and events management are based at the Pavilion, while during a test match up to 1,000 spectators, staff, pundits and squad members make use of the building. Classrooms convert to dining rooms, meeting rooms morph into TV studios and the lecture theatre becomes the first-class media centre.

The £21 million development was led by main contractor BAM Construction UK and fulfilling the architect’s unique dual-use, year-round higher education and sports brief, led to some complex structural decisions - one of the most challenging elements being the large protruding auditorium at the very centre of the Pavilion.  

British Gypsum’s Beautiful Acoustic ceiling solutions were specified by architect Thomas Hon of Alsop Architects based on their acoustic performance and quality. Rigitone 8-15-20, which was used in the lecture theatres and main entrance area, helped create visual interest with its random circular perforation, whist meeting the required Class D acoustic rating. It is also impact resistant which improves its durability, especially in high usage areas where fixtures and fittings are moved and re-configured on a regular basis.

The Rigitone boards were set out to follow the slope of the theatre to maintain the angles of symmetry between the individual rafts, creating triangular ‘islands’ that were in keeping with the rest of the building’s design. This feature has been likened to a ‘soft, green cricket glove gripping a ball.’        

Within the kitchen areas a lay-in grid combined with the Gyprex SATINSPAR, wipe clean vinyl ceiling

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tiles has been utilised. These have been specially developed as the ideal suspended ceiling solution for hygiene sensitive areas which need to be easy to maintain. The system provides the perfect solution for the kitchen area within the Pavilion as it retains its clean and fresh looks and stays looking new for years to come.

John Atkinson Interiors was brought in to install the ceilings throughout the building. Contracts Manager, Simon Green said: “The British Gypsum products were of an outstanding quality and this was one of the main reasons why they were specified. During installation we were working to very strict deadlines and every step of the way we received excellent technical back up from the team at British Gypsum, which helped make our job that little bit easier.

“The other benefits of the products are their environmental sustainability and durability. These will serve the building well in the future and because of the cutting edge design combined with its day-to-day practicality the building will stay looking fresh for years to come.” 

Wayne Kensett, Senior Product Manager for British Gypsum, said: “The Headingley Stadium development was a really interesting project to be involved with due to the dual nature of the building. The products we supplied were able to meet the needs of both the educational and sports elements of the Pavilion, and the end result provides the acoustic quality required for both media and educational activities.”

The project took 16 months to complete and was ready to host the first test match between Australia and Pakistan in July 2010 before teaching began in September. Feedback from students, staff and match attendees has been positive with staff members of the Leeds Metropolitan University, whose offices are located at the top of the building, enjoying some of the best views over the pitch.   

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