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Acoustics - Wesley Methodist Church

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The moment worshippers step into the Main Sanctuary at Wesley Methodist Church, they are greeted with an expansive space bathed in light. The warm and welcoming atmosphere is the result of a transformation to modernise the sanctuary’s interior.

Sitting at the foot of Fort Canning, Singapore’s oldest Methodist church underwent a facelift in 2015, bringing it back to its neo-Gothic architectural roots. Established in the early 20th century, the Wesley Methodist Church had previously undergone refurbishments in 1977 and 1988. Since the last renovation, debilitating problems had surfaced and the church needed to fix this urgently.

The Main Sanctuary suffered from spalling concrete, water seepage, damaged flooring and efflorescence surfacing on the walls. In addition, the church needed to replace aging air conditioning systems, outdated AV equipment, faulty electrical wiring and beams that were susceptible to rot. To restore the original cruciform layout featuring the shape of a cross, the church realigned the main entrance of the sanctuary so that it faced the aisle leading to the altar. This provided a focal point upon entry to the sanctuary and also made the space more inviting.

The church replaced the floors with wooden strips. This, together with the white and solid wood finishes, created a harmony of colours that added a warm touch and injected more depth to the space. It was a conscious choice to repaint the interior in a lighter colour. While this gave off a contemporary vibe, it also helped to accentuate the various historical elements of the church such as the rich hues of the wooden fixtures, the vibrant colours of the stained glass as well as the deep tones of the trusses. The result was a light, open and more personable space.

The altar area was also widened so that more of the congregation could be served during communion. In addition, the choir stalls, organ and piano were repositioned to optimise the layout. To accommodate up-to-date equipment such as TV screens, audio systems and enhanced lighting features, the sanctuary’s ceiling had to be completely overhauled. It was important that the redesign of the angular ceiling preserved the church’s neo-Gothic origins, as well as married aesthetics with function.

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The sanctuary was used not just for worship, but also for events such as baptisms and weddings. Sermons, prayer, singing from the church choir, piping of music, playing of the church organ, as well as live performances were all held there. Therefore, the acoustical treatment in the sanctuary had to be considered carefully.

The old ceiling was made of material that was not suitable for acoustics absorption and sound reflection. Environmental sounds and other noises from the air conditioning and ventilation systems were also poorly controlled.

The new acoustic solution thus had to deal with the various reverberations, reflections, vibrations and echoes in the space, as well as mask out other background noises. It also had to absorb sound during quiet scenarios such as when reflective prayers are held.

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StoSilent Distance 310 acoustic solution and the StoSilent Décor M White coating were specified by architect Arc Studio to cover a ceiling application area of 1,200m2.

The StoSilent Distance system offered several advantages: its design flexibility meant that it could be installed in a vaulted ceiling and as a suspended system. It was made of a material that was light and could absorb sound effectively.


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Due to the seamless design and easy installation of the StoSilent Distance 310 panels, they blended elegantly with the sanctuary’s unobtrusive design. They were able to reduce noise levels in the sanctuary, as well as amplify the right sounds when required.


With its light, textured surface, the StoSilent Décor M coating provided the perfect finish and could be easily sprayed onto the StoSilent Distance panels. The natural white coating complemented the sanctuary’s simple, timeless design.

The StoSilent range was able to optimise the acoustics in the sanctuary, delivering the perfect sound setting for the church’s various activities.

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Now, as worshippers enter the sanctuary, their line of sight is immediately drawn towards the beautiful stained glass window, filtering natural light, at the altar. With the raised and revamped ceiling creating the illusion of a brighter space, worshippers can’t help but feel, as they file past the rows of polished pews and stained glass windows on either side, as if they are walking straight through a path of light towards the altar.

The result of the sanctuary’s redesign is a space that is infused with light, one that connects the old and the new. With the church’s architectural legacy restored, the new, aesthetically pleasing sanctuary now projects a sense of warmth and peace.

Project details

Applicator : SIAC Pte Ltd

Architect : Arc Studio

Main Contractor : LLoyd & Andrew Builders Pte Ltd

Products used : StoSilent Distance 310 & StoSilent Décor M white

Area of application : 1200m2

Project duration : 2 months (Jul/ Aug 2015)

Work done : Ceiling work in The Main Sanctuary


Product focus : StoSilent Distance

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It's hard to imagine modern architecture without large, even, white surfaces. The StoSilent Distance board system allows the seamless and soundabsorbing design of walls and ceilings, which have to be suspended, for example, to reduce the room height. The room concept is thus retained with good acoustics included.

Benefits of StoSilent Distance

  • - Seamless installation of up to 200m2
    - Suitable to a limited extent for curved surfaces and vaults
    - Suitable for rooms exposed to moisture,depending on system version
    - Conceals main utilities
    - Perfusion safe
    - Low weight