Founded more than 100 years ago, National Museum Cardiff is part of the National Museum Wales organization, which comprises Wales’ largest and most important museums. The Cardiff building houses both a museum and art gallery, and plays host to thousands of visitors each year.
The large atrium is the first space that museum guests encounter. It’s an impressive room, featuring marble columns and domed windows in the ceiling. However, having been constructed more than a century ago, the acoustic considerations were minimal. This meant that the atrium could be incredibly noisy when the museum was busy, with the sounds from visitors, the reception and café all reverberating off the hard stone walls. While this wasn’t a major concern previously, as large public spaces are naturally bustling environments, the museum has recently begun hosting events in the atrium. These events, ranging from awards dinners to screenings and more, require better acoustics, which is why Husht were called in to help.
In order to combat the excessive reverberation in the building, Husht installed a large number of suspended acoustic panels throughout the space. We suspended them from all recesses and side viewing areas, which were some of the areas that contributed most to reverberation issues. A neutral grey was chosen, as the atrium décor regularly changes depending on evening events and exhibition themes. As the museum is closed for just one day per week, it was imperative that Husht were able to complete the install quickly. We’re pleased that we were able to install all of the panels in one evening.
We’re delighted to see that the panels have made a very significant difference to the atrium acoustics. Those eating or drinking in the café area are able to sit in comfort, and those that attend evening events can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere. In addition, those that first enter the museum are not confronted by excessive noise. This has all been achieved with panels that compliment the listed building.