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Sustainable acoustic systems by Rockfon displayed at council offices

Following a grand-scale refurbishment, a portfolio of Rockfon acoustic systems supplied by Minster in full and on time, feature throughout the former British Gas Engineering Research Station (ERS), where iconic 1960s modernism meets the 21st Century.

Collaboration helps deliver heritage-sensitive solutions 
The 50,000sq.ft. Grade II* listed former ERS building at Killingworth, has a strong architectural heritage. It was created by the pioneering architectural partnership Ryder and Yates in 1967.

One of our biggest ceiling tiles suppliers Rockfon were selected for the project. They worked alongside RIBA Chartered Architects, Ainsworth Spark Associates, on the specification of acoustic ceiling and wall systems on behalf of property owner and main contractor, North Tyneside Council. The building has now been transformed into a fit-for-the-future, multi-use resource which includes public access areas, open plan work spaces, smaller offices and meeting rooms. 

A sustainable drive for the project was to reuse what could be reused, instead of wastefully demolishing the building. Recognition and respect for its’ listed status were at the forefront of the architects’ plans. The development offered Rockfon the opportunity to demonstrate a portfolio of acoustic systems to match the particular demands of each space throughout the building.

Rachel Charlesworth of Ainsworth Spark Associates explains: “We needed to expose the history of the building and respect its architectural heritage whilst delivering a positive, modern working environment. An example of this was to painstakingly remove original service grid, thoroughly clean all components, down to each nut and bolt, and reinstall to help tell the historical story visible above the Eclipse Islands. The Rockfon team worked closely with us, providing solutions, particularly for the 1st floor concourse. Rockfon Blanka® X with a concealed grid and bespoke edge trim delivered the smooth, seamless appearance we were looking for to fantastic effect. The new ceiling systems clearly define the refurbishment and were a crucial part of the build.”

All Rockfon acoustic systems are made from naturally occurring inert volcanic rock stone wool. They are non-combustible and don’t house any harmful microorganisms and bacteria. Rockfon acoustic systems are recyclable and have a high recycled content, supporting the closed-loop circular economy, contributing to a more sustainable future.


Among other innovative products, Rockfon® Koral™ and Rockfon® Tropic™ tiles were used in smaller spaces. Dimensionally stable, each has an attractive moisture resistant surface. Installed with semi-concealed or visible grid options they both offer Class A sound absorption and Class A1 fire safety.

Minster and Rockfon expertise and support always available
KD Building Solutions were responsible for the ceiling systems installation. The firm’s John Duffy explains: “We wanted to develop our expertise in ceiling installation and this project certainly gave us the opportunity to do that. We faced challenges due to the need to protect the listed interiors and the re-use of original materials but Rockfon’s Jim Lundy was always available to offer support and advice. Thanks also to Minster, Newcastle for ensuring Rockfon materials were there on time. The completed installations look and perform brilliantly.”