Hammond Studio and Hassell

Sydney, Australia


Kvadrat Acoustics solution comprising Soft Cells Broadline acoustic panels upholstered with Casa 122 installed in the lobby ceiling and into the tenancy.

Hammond Studio and Terence Chin Photography

Hall of fame

The renovated Darling Quarter South Building, home to the Lendlease and Commonwealth Bank, integrates a groundbreaking Kvadrat Acoustics solution. It represents the largest installation of Soft Cells panels in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Three years in the making, the project references the site’s rich history and is characterized by technical excellence and acoustic quality. The Kvadrat Acoustics solution, installed on the ceilings in the North and South lobbies and into the tenancy, supports both these signature traits.

The Soft Cells Broadline acoustic panels are upholstered in Casa 122 and deliver an NRC rating of 0.95 or greater. They are all specified in custom wedge-shaped sizes to accommodate the position of the service tracks and seamlessly fit the lobby ceiling, which is curved from the entrance to the escalators in diverse radii. 

Importantly, the Kvadrat Acousticds solution also meets the acoustic challenge arising from the hard surfaces that populate the airy, clean, welcoming interior. Furthermore, as the acoustic Soft Cells panels are installed on a Unistrut substructure with hinges and push latches, they pop open to make maintenance easy.

Todd Hammond, Director of Hammond Studio: “We selected the Kvadrat Acoustics Soft Cells panels for two reasons. Firstly, they are large format, removable acoustic panels that could be custom-made to the sizes and shapes required. Secondly, as the building lobbies are surrounded by glass and hard-wearing stone flooring, the opportunities for sound-absorbing materials were minimal. Consequently, we saw the ceiling as an opportunity to resolve sound reverberation within the space. The acoustic performance of Soft Cells has exceeded all expectations from the architect and the acoustic engineer.” 

The nearby Cockle Bay inspires Darling Quarter South Building’s concept. It builds on the locality’s rich history of cockle and oyster shells – first a source of food for Indigenous people, later a source of lime for colonial-era construction. The resulting narrative informs the interior and the architectural intervention.

Darling Quarter is a scenic modern cultural precinct near the waterfront in Darling Harbour, located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. One of Australia’s most-visited tourist attractions, it covers 1.5 hectares, comprising office towers, retail buildings, bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues.