Home, First Street, Manchester

Client: Manchester City Council

Main Contractor: Wates Construction North West

Value: £1.18M

Architect: Space/Mecanoo

Scope of Works

HOME is the centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film in Manchester that opened on 24 April 2015 as part of the First Street development. The principal contractor Wates Construction undertook the £25M arts centre with a design collaboration of Space Group and Mecanoo Architects based in Delft, Netherlands. It has two performance venues – a 500-seat theatre and 150-seat flexible studio space, five cinema screens, gallery space to display contemporary art, cafe bar and restaurant.  Sound Interiors where awarded the £1.2M drylining and suspended ceiling package which also included SFS, Fermacell, timber diffusers, Superfon acoustic wall panels, Ecophon hung acoustic panels, curved GRG soffits and SAS suspended ceiling rafts.

The drylining package was in excess of 9000m² and was a  Knauf specification,  due to the nature of the public building not only did the partitions need to perform to meet fire resistance; the acoustic value was essential.

Sound Interiors worked tirelessly with Knauf to ensure all the partition walls especially those that formed the Theatres and Cinemas performed to meet the Architects/clients requirements. To enhance the acoustic requirements on the project Theatre 1 had 900m² of Lamaphon CLS1 installed to the soffit and high level walk ways.

Additional Lamaphon was integrated within a random timber slat diffuser system to the rear and side walls of Theatre 1.  The timer wall diffusers where also installed at high level within Theatre 2 but in this case where integrated with CMS Danskin Superfon acoustic wall panels, the Superphon wall panels were also installed in the rehearsal room, Theatre 2 and Cinemas 1-5.

The curved ground floor gallery area walls were constructed using 200m² of Fermacell board which would allow the repetitive fixing of signage and banners for forthcoming events.  The suspended ceilings systems consisted of MF plasterboard bulkheads and margins with traditional lay in grid and Knauf Cleaneo acoustic plasterboard.

A 1200mm x 1200mm Ecophon Sombre suspended ceilings system complete with Alpha and Gamma tiles which achieve reflective and absorptive acoustic properties where installed to the rehearsal room, Theatre 2 and Cinemas 1-5.

125 number Ecophon Solo hung panels where installed to achieve acoustic value to the communal areas on the ground, 1st and 2nd floors.

Due to the location, size and diversity of the project everyday presented a different challenge for the Sound Interiors management team. The outcome of the project saw Sound Interiors receive the highest health and safety scores of all sub-contractors and glowing feedback from Knauf and other manufacturers on the installation of their products.


 “Sound Interiors undertook the internal partitioning and ceiling construction package for this landmark cultural building on behalf of Wates Construction in the centre of Manchester. The project is the largest cultural building in the UK of its nature outside London. The operation of the building by its very nature with two theatres and five cinemas was reliant on the quality and robustness of the acoustic design and installation of the partitions.

Sound Interiors assisted in problem resolution, brought a positive attitude to the project and supported the architect in finalising difficult detailing issues to ensure the building acoustics performed as required. Sound Interiors managed their installation to a high standard in terms of both quality and safety. The site supervisors were collaborative, knowledgeable and enjoyable to work with. The end result is a quality installation that we can all take pride in”.

Ray Jacques

Project Manager, Wates Construction North West

Sound Interiors Ltd
4 Levens Road
Newby Road Industrial Estate
Hazel Grove

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