Dugdale Arts Centre by Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

To reduce background noise, we supplemented the open-plan kitchen design with an enclosed back-of-house area. We also suspended raft absorber panels above the eating area to reduce reverberation in this busy area and in the reception, making it easier to hear conversations. 

 The project reuses the existing raised access flooring, which was insulated and resealed. A new cavity barrier was installed to prevent underfloor passage of flame and smoke and reduce sound transmission. This provides a significant safety and comfort upgrade, while future-proofing the existing flooring.
Juliet Quintero, director, Dallas-Pierce-Quintero



In the performance area the curtains meet a curved timber backing wall to bounce sound back towards the seating. Both the lounge area and tiered performance seating feature durable carpet flooring for improved wayfinding, additional acoustic absorption and thermal comfort. 


Project data

We stripped out the existing suspended ceiling to maximise floor-to-ceiling heights but required additional acoustic absorption above main gathering points. Ecophon free-hanging acoustic tiles proved a great solution, as these could be colour-matched to blend with the soffit and individually suspended to sit between lighting elements.
Juliet Quintero, director, Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

The curtains are thick, opaque and flame-retardant and their soft finishes offer sound-absorbing qualities. They run on tracks throughout DAC’s layout, to create activity pockets that can be tailored to specific acoustic requirements. This enables the soft seating area, for example, to become a private, quieter meeting point, ideal for small gatherings such as breastfeeding groups.


Acoustic ceiling tiles
Solo Rectangle, 1200×2400mm


Post-pandemic, Enfield Council proposed to reconfigure the existing, permanent community hub –the Dugdale at Thomas Hardy House –to make the ground floor a dedicated arts centre. Our retrofit strategy stripped the space back to open-plan layout, retaining its structure, soffit ceiling, exposed services and metal floor. This was creatively reconfigured with flexibility in mind. Curtains, floor zoning and multifunctional furniture are used to define the programme, but enable layouts to change easily. 


Selected products


Designed as a melting-pot of cultural activity, Enfield’s Dugdale Arts Centre (DAC) is a welcoming and inclusive response to community need. The refurbishment project builds on Dallas-Pierce-Quintero’s cultural strategy for Enfield Council and the overwhelming community support for DAC’s temporary pilot project, Culture Palace.


Architect’s choices

Enfood Café –a community café selling locally sourced food –provides space for visitors to gather or work. It transforms into a restaurant in the evening, enhancing the pre-show offer from the adjoining black box theatre. Enfood’s profits are reinvested back into the centre’s community initiatives.

Flame-retardant curtain
CAM602 Watermelon, CAM703 Pine, CAM803 Coin
Café, Lounge, Museum, Tiered performance space

Curtains and floor zoning permit flexibly separate uses as needed at DAC, and manage sound within the open-plan layout, softening the significant echo that would otherwise occur in spaces of this volume. This allows the centre to embrace its purpose as a fully multifunctional space, where different activities can take place simultaneously. 

Tarkett’s carpet tiles, designed for high-traffic work and leisure spaces, enabled DAC to benefit from both soft flooring for improved sound absorption and thermal performance, and low-maintenance, colourful finishes that will last. This supplier also aligned with our sustainability-driven approach to materials – the carpet in the tiered seating is recyclable.

Carpet tiles
Desso AirMaster Savera Shade AC03 4323,
1000 × 250mm
Tiered seating

We found Cameo Curtains’ products to be well-suited to facilitating a functional zoning concept within DAC. Their 100 per cent cotton curtains offer a durable finish for daily use, help manage sound and are fire-rated.

In response to stakeholder consultation, the versatile new Museum of Enfield sits at the centre’s heart. Weaving into its wider layout, we incorporated a modular, flexible display system for temporary exhibitions. Built-in timber joinery showcases the museum’s permanent collection, repurposing its display cases. Playful viewports in the joinery engage visitors, enable interactivity and maximise curatorial flexibility.

DAC also introduces a tiered performance space, which acts as both a stage and seating, a retail space for local makers, a community arts wall and a mezzanine providing bookable community space.
Juliet Quintero, director, Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

Start on site December 2021
December 2022
Gross internal floor area
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect Dallas-Pierce-Quintero (D-P-Q)
Executive architect tp bennett
Client London Borough of Enfield
Structural engineer Pick Everard
M&E Bancroft Blue
Quantity surveyor Stace
Project manager Jonathan Sketon, London Borough of Enfield
Principal designer Dallas-Pierce-Quintero
Approved building inspector London Borough of Enfield Building Control
Main contractor Willmott Dixon Interiors
Lead architect on wider Thomas Hardy House development tp bennett
Graphic designer Stephen Barrett Studio
Sound designer Coda to Coda
Audio and video All Safe and Sound
CAD software used Vectorworks, Revit