Oscar Acoustics and TP Bennett have collaborated to deliver bank’s ‘people-first principles’

When ANZ first imagined its new offices, it knew that the wellbeing of its workforce needed to come first. Post-pandemic, it needed a space that reflected its personality and values, creating an environment that encouraged community and collaboration. To achieve this, it would need to prioritise office acoustics, not only to allow staff to easily communicate with colleagues during busy office hours but also to create quiet areas dedicated to more focused work.

As experts in their field, architects, TP Bennett, enlisted the help of Oscar Acoustics and its SonaSpray range to deliver the ‘office harmony’ ANZ was looking for.

Pitch perfect
One of the main goals of its move, was to change its two-floor setup to a single level, allowing for different ‘zones’ of activity and a ‘sense of journey’ throughout the whole office. Central to each zone, which includes areas for focused, alone-time, breakout sessions and private phone calls was managing the spread of noise, which could easily lead to disruptions, particularly within an open-plan design.

To remedy this, TP Bennett chose Oscar Acoustics’ SonaSpray’ acoustic spray range. Once applied to ceilings or walls the seamless acoustic finish absorbs sound energy instead of reflecting it, enabling spaces to remain relaxed and productive. In this case, its SonaSpray K-13 was used to reduce overall noise for a more calming atmosphere.

Mariachiara Dal Pozzo, Associate Director, TP Bennett, said: “Having used SonaSpray on several other projects, we knew how effective it was at reducing office noise. It’s quickly become our go-to product and our clients are always happy to follow our recommendations due to the huge difference it makes, both in open-plan areas and cellular spaces.”

Healthy and sustainable
ANZ’s new 12th floor space in the Cargo building in Canary Wharf is also one of London’s most sustainable fit-outs. It includes efficient water management and low embodied carbon materials, plus 80% of the furniture products come from reused existing material. The project is even included in a British Council for Offices (BCO) report on Circular Economy in Offices.

With environmental impact a concern, SonaSpray was an ideal fit. Commonly used within green-build projects, it contributes towards many sustainable design and health certification systems including BREEAM, SKA, Living Building Challenge adding up to 17 points towards the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating of a project. SonaSpray also boasts GREENGUARD Gold Certified compliance for Indoor Air Quality to ensure that it meets the highest welfare standards.

As with all design projects, safety is always paramount. With fire credentials that go above and beyond Approved Document B fire requirements (Class 0 to BS476 & B-s1, d0 fire rating), the SonaSpray range was an obvious choice. This means in the event of a fire; it creates little to no smoke and absolutely no droplets – which can assist in the safe escape of occupants should an event occur.

Dal Pozzo added: “Having used a competitor product recently, we noticed a drop in standard and only the K-13 SonaSpray delivers both in terms of aesthetics and sound management. The finish on the project was exceptional and hides any imperfections, making it as visually strong as it is at reducing noise.”

Ben Hancock, managing director at Oscar Acoustics said: “Working alongside TP Bennett, we were able to create a space that reinforced ANZ’s culture, personality and value, putting both its people and customers above all else. The feedback has been extremely positive, staff are relaxed and their surroundings match the versatility and flexibility they need to work productively.”

Photography by Hufton + Crow