Transforming interior spaces with innovative acoustic solutions




Acoustics for community spaces

Interior Designers: Story Inc.

Categories: Arts and culture

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Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Connecting communities through the built environment

Over the last 25 years Tjapukai Cultural Centre has allowed visitors to interact and learn more about the Tjapukai way of life and traditional practices, proudly showcasing the rich culture of Australia’s Aboriginal people. While renovating their cultural centre recently, they experienced some concerns with the spaces acoustic performance.




Situated on a 25 acre site, Tjapukai has won more than 200 awards and is recognised as the national ambassador for Australia’s Aboriginal cultural tourism.  Holding a defining position in telling the history of Australia’s indigenous people; owners Indigenous Business Australia have invested $12 million in transforming Tjapukai to an amazing modern centre that not only tells the story of Australia but provides a transition between the outside world and the Aboriginal culture.


The foyer area of the Tjapukai Cultural Centre forms the entrance and the place where guests gather before entering the live performance theatre.  It was important to the designers at Studio Cassels and Story Inc. to work alongside the Tjapukai team to ensure the space reflected the heart and soul of the community and all its functions.


Featuring a polished concrete floor, high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows, the Tjapuki Cultural Centre presented a beautiful space with an adherent noise reverberation issue.  This led to the team at Studio Cassells and Story Inc. to look for a sound absorbing acoustic solution that fitted the culture of the space and evoked the feelings of Tjapukai tribe’s local landscape; the Cairns Rainforest.

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Additional info

Designer David Cassells

Designer David Cassells felt the foyer area needed materials that gave a natural feel and provided a variety of textures.  Autex Cube™ was a fitting solution for this; made from 100% Polyester the surface of Cube provides a natural smooth appearance that is available in a variety of colours.  To make sure the acoustic solution fitted in with the centres theme, Autex worked alongside David Cassells to design a custom cut Cube rainforest that sits suspended from the ceiling.


The team at Studio Cassells said they chose complementing natural toned colours; Flatiron, Savoye and Opera because “they offered a number of advantages over other materials: It’s soft, felt like material worked well with the overall feel of the space, its ability to be water-cut into detailed patterns gave us design freedom…”.

Because the upgrade of the Tjapukai Cultural Centre was taking place while the centre was still open it was important that the installation could be done quickly without disrupting the regular visitors.  Because the team at Autex water-cut the rainforest designs in house and sent them direct to the centre, there was no need for onsite cutting saving time during the installation.  Also because Autex Cube™ is made from 100% polyester it is 100% non-toxic leaving the centre with a healthy alternative to fibreglass fabric wrapped panels.


The team at Studio Cassells mentioned that whilst they were impressed with the Autex product, they were equally impressed with their service.  “They water-cut all patterns in-house, which saved outsourcing extra processes and were happy to provide the colours to help achieve the look we needed.  Autex has been very accommodating and a pleasure to work with.”

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