W.Howard MDF improves acoustics at award-winning Business School
Wrekin College, based in Telford, Shropshire, which was established in 1880, has undergone a number of updates and extensions during its 139 years. The most recent transformation involved creating a single-storey extension to an existing 1950s teaching block, to bring additional facilities to the Business School. This distinctive new building is situated at the centre of the college campus, and comprises two uniquely designed brick structures, linked together by a flat glass roof and glass-fronted foyer.
Inside the building are two main circular spaces – a circular Boardroom and a Lecture Theatre – constructed from red brick and finished with W. Howard’s Oak veneered, wrapped MDF batten. The batten has been fixed to a board to help improve the rooms’ internal acoustics. The MDF profile manufacturer also supplied, via a merchant, matching Oak-veneered skirting, architrave and window board to the contractor, Pave Aways. Together, their beautiful finish provides the school with a distinctive teaching space, giving pride of place to the MDF profiles.
W. Howard’s premium range of veneered MDF profiles were chosen for the project because they offer the same look and feel as solid timber, but without any knots, shakes, warping or twisting. This makes them easy to install, reduces wasted product, and provides a consistent look across the entire space. All W. Howard’s veneered products are FSC-certified, providing an environmentally friendly, high-quality alternative to solid timber products.
As well as the Oak veneered finish, W. Howard’s skirting boards, architraves, window boards, casings and linings are available in finishes including American Black Walnut, Ash, Steamed Beech, Cherry, and Maple.
The finished building at Wrekin College is already in use and has been praised by local community groups who regularly use the rooms for their own meetings. The project was also the recent winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) 2019 West Midlands Award.