Oscar Acoustics, a provider of architectural acoustic finishes, has opened the doors to its newly built headquarters in Rochester, Kent.

Aptly named ‘The Oscar Innovation Centre’, the new state-of-the-art premises will become a centre-point for market-leading acoustic solutions on some of the UK’s most ambitious architectural projects. It will also serve as a new base for the family-run business.

Following an intensive 40-week construction phase led by renowned contractor, WW Martin, the new headquarters stands as a testament to Oscar Acoustics’ commitment to growth and continued investment in the region.

This ambitious project, initiated in spring 2023 and completed on 15 May 2024, represents a significant milestone for Oscar Acoustics. The design was led by the esteemed architects, Urban & Rural, an East Kent-based business that specialises in contemporary, sustainable, and hybrid architecture. The headquarters occupies a former cement works site, breathing a new lease of life to the picturesque Medway Valley.

The site comprises two distinct buildings: the main office structure that boasts a modern open-plan workspace, meeting rooms, a welcoming lounge, and two storey warehouse. Serving dual functionality, the hub also functions as a captivating showroom where prospective clients can experience Oscar Acoustics’ products first-hand in a real-world setting.

The companion building is equally impressive, housing six two-story units, dedicated to the company’s innovation facility and expanded warehousing capabilities.

Ben Hancock, Managing Director at Oscar Acoustics, said: “Having our new premises is a dream come true and something we’ve been working towards for many years. The goal wasn’t just about building a new headquarters but creating a high-quality working environment for our employees, with a focus on their health and welfare.”

Central to Oscar Acoustics’ ethos is a steadfast commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. From the project’s inception, the company mandated the use of eco-friendly materials and construction methods where possible, and prioritised biodiversity in the surrounding area. To promote employee well-being and reduce its carbon footprint, the facility features amenities such as bike storage and shower rooms, encouraging staff to participate in a cycle-to-work scheme.

Elevating its sustainability efforts, Oscar Acoustics integrated a robust solar energy system, doubling the initially proposed quantity of solar panels on the roof. This strategic investment ensures that the building can operate entirely on solar power, aligning with the company’s overarching goal of remaining carbon neutral.

When tendering the build, they developed a stringent vetting process, only allowing ISO 14001-certified companies to bid for the contract, which ensured that a smooth transition from the design to the build, would be established. In 2020, the business itself became ISO 14001 certified.

Lead architect, Richard Baron, from, Urban & Rural, said: “It’s been an honour working with Oscar Acoustics to bring this project to life. Its new headquarters not only epitomises architectural excellence, but embodies the company’s shared commitment to sustainability and innovation.

“As with everything they do, Oscar Acoustics continues to set the standard for the industry, blending cutting-edge design with eco-friendly practices. For me, the scheme sensitivity marries a classic timeless industrial aesthetics, with the subtle use of cutting-edge technology. The result of this is the successful delivery of a new commercial building, with an Energy Performance Certification (EPC) of -3 A+, placing the EPC classification of the building above Net zero CO2.”

Hancock added: “Both our business and our family have strong connections with Kent, so it was important we stayed local to the area. Having transformed a previously derelict site, we’re now focused on taking the business to the next level, supplying the architectural community with ground-breaking acoustic products that help create healthier and happier, and more productive, working environments.”

Photography by Hufton + Crow