Acoustic Installation at Jesus College, Cambridge

The historic Jesus College is one of the leading colleges in the University of Cambridge, known for its expansive grounds, sporting fields and the Jesus College Boat Club – the most successful Cambridge college boat club. Established between 1496 and 1516, a wide range of academic subjects are studied at Jesus College, from Mathematics and English to Archaeology and Computer Science. The Pacy & Wheatley Acoustics team were delighted to have been appointed the prestigious project, installing an ambient acoustic solution to the new refurbishments and extensions of the historic Jesus College.

The college was established between 1496 and 1596 on the site of the 12th Century Benedictine nunnery of St Mary and St Radegund. The nunnery was converted by John Alcock, Bishop of Ely, and became a community for graduate priests studying in the University. Today, the college is a community of over 1,000 members supported by over 100 members of staff.

The refurbishment and extension of the college included new social spaces of a basement bar and a café. The café and bar areas required an acoustic solution to remove a large amount of reverberation for a more comfortable atmosphere. Our acoustic solutions had to provide the required absorption to both areas, promoting a quieter yet more social atmosphere within the college without sacrificing the appearance of the historic buildings.

The café was a particularly challenging area to install our acoustic plaster system. The oak beam arrangement left an incredibly small area to apply the acoustic system. This took significant time as our team had to ensure the edge details were installed to perfection. The end result was an acoustic solution that minimised echo, reverberation and other unwanted noise producing a quieter, more social atmosphere within the café, without sacrificing the aesthetics of the area.

The bar is located in the basement area, and presented a new set of challenges with its vaulted ceiling. Our team installed an acoustic solution to the wall bulkhead area and all flat ceiling areas while keeping the detail surrounding the abutments. The project was completed to the satisfaction of Cocksedge building contractors and architect Niall Mclaughlin.

Following the success of these acoustic installations, we were asked to complete further installations to the ground floor and 1st floor of the Webb building at Jesus College. We were asked to provide a solution for the main circulation space around the new atrium, which would create a mass of reverberation at certain busy periods of the day.

The two phases of the project at Jesus College, Cambridge were both incredibly successful. The Pacy & Wheatley Acoustics team were incredibly proud to be able to work on such a historic building. Read more about the project on our Phase 1 and Phase 2 Case Studies pages. 

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