Food for thought...

Sian
Monday 11 Oct 2010

Are architects compromising design for the sake of style?

Creating a quality dining experience can reap huge rewards for restaurant owners. Great food, attentive service, a sharp, stylish interior design; all these factors add up to create that sought-after ambiance that will bring the customers back. Nothing new there. But increasingly, awareness is growing of another, invisible yet vital component. Acoustics. Too loud and diners will be driven out nursing sore throats, too quiet and it can become intrusive in itself. But questions are being raised as to whether architects are ignoring this in pursuit of clean lines and hard surfaces...

A recent article by Anna Longmore claims that the average noise level in restaurants is over 80 decibels - equivalent of rush hour traffic - and at times can reach an incredible 140DB, the same as a jet engine at take off.

In an exclusive interview, WAN's Michael Hammond talks to two acoustics experts, Emma Greenland at WSP and Adrian Passmore at Arup, to find out their views on the subject. To listen to the podcast click here.

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