Millfield School, Somerset UK

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J&C Joel completed an installation of a set of motorised acoustic drapes for the new Music School and Concert Hall at Millfield School in Street, Somerset.

Millfield is one of the UK’s most famous independent schools. Set in the fabulous undulating Somerset countryside overlooking Glastonbury Tor, it’s renowned for the sporting achievements of many of its pupils.

The opening of the new Music School and Concert Hall demonstrates Millfield’s ongoing commitment to the Arts. The new hall incorporates a 350-seat concert venue, rehearsal areas for all their ensembles,6 classrooms, 25 teaching rooms, recording studios, and specialist percussion rooms.

J&C Joel was consulted by main contractors Cowlin, who were working directly for DK Architects. The new main performance space was designed to offer acoustically suitable conditions for music and drama performances. The venue required a solution that quickly transformed the acoustics to suit the specific type of performance taking place.

J&C Joel’s projects team assessed the situation and proposed a twin motorised UniTrack system for the two side walls, along with a motorised Chain Track for the rear wall.

The UniTrack was specified because of its robust build quality, its streamlined appearance and its superior motorised properties. A linear motor unit allowed J&C Joel’s 30m long by an 8m drop of midnight blue coloured Wool Serge (WS009) curtains to sashay around the track, gliding silently and effortlessly through the complex curves and contours of the ceiling.

To store and conceal the curtains when they weren’t in use, a ‘front’ façade was built onto the back wall of the concert hall. This was masked with a motorised system that could also be stored on the reverse side of a wall – which was a mere 300mm thick.

Chain Track provided the perfect solution for the requirements of the venue as it is designed to provide a diameter as low as 100mm. A continuous motorised Chain Track was installed on both front and rear faces of the wall – this piece of ingenuity allows a 12m wide by a 7m drop curtain to either be in full view when required or alternatively stored away on the reverse side.

All of this could be controlled via a simple remote control system which J&C Joel provided.