▷ Year: 2017
▷ Location: Oxford, UK
▷ Client: Worcester College, Oxford
▷ Architect: NIALL McLAUGHLIN ARCHITECTS – RIBA National Award 2018 and shortlisted for the Stirling Prize 2018
The new Nazrin Shah Building, features a 160-seat multipurpose auditorium with an e-hub social learning space, two seminar rooms, a studio for teaching and for performance and a large foyer and bar area.
The auditorium has a fixed acoustic, with a reverberation time set higher than would be optimum for speech alone. A high standard of speech intelligibility is achieved with a line array sound system set within the side walls near the stage. This is set at a low level to enhance natural speech.
The mid frequency occupied Reverberation Time (RT) approaching 1.4 seconds supports a wide range of activities including drama and music performances as well as conferences with AV presentations, lectures and as a gathering place for other community-based groups in Oxford. Unoccupied, with a longer RT of 1.6 seconds, the acoustic will effectively support musical and choral rehearsals and because of the low internal noise level (NR20), may be used for professional recording.
The auditorium was modelled in CATT software, which allows for the optimization of all the parameters
which we know are essential for excellent acoustics. The acoustic model was auralised in our Brixton Studios in the Octagon.
The facilities are being used for a wide range of activities including drama and music sessions as well as conferences, lectures and as a gathering place for other community-based groups in Oxford.
The large foyer, which is used for breaks, buffets and drink receptions, has been acoustically treated using perforated timber panels on the soffit with mineral wool behind.
Awards: RIBA South Award 2018 and RIBA South Building of the Year 2018, as well as an award from the Oxford Preservation Trust in its New Buildings category.