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22. November 2016

Ceiling Design: open exchange thanks to optimal acoustics

The painstaking balance between openness and discretion is a main feature of the design concept devised by the Gould Evans architectural firm for a representative open-plan office in San Francisco. For the project on behalf of the asset management company ValueAct Capital, the architects chose an acoustic ceiling made of metal mesh from GKD. The tailor-made system consisting of PC-Omega 1520 stainless steel mesh combines an extraordinary appearance with a high level of acoustic room comfort.

Modern open-plan offices offer space for open exchange, while also providing areas for undisturbed concentration and relaxation. The architects from Gould Evans created a custom-designed open-plan office for ValueAct Capital. Their design is defined by the interplay of natural resources, colors and building materials. Natural colors such as gray, beige or brown contribute to the subtle elegance of the office, while gentle flashes of cool turquoise for the seating areas in the touch points lend the space a fresh feel. The combination of concrete, wood and glass underlines the loft atmosphere. Ceiling-high glass walls divide rooms from the open space for undisturbed work or confidential meetings.

Because of the high number of sound-reflecting surfaces, the ceiling structure plays a key role. The architects therefore opted for the SILENTMESH ceiling system made of stainless steel mesh from GKD. The precisely matched system comprising metal mesh panels, substructure and accessories meets the acoustic requirements of the open-plan office and thus perfectly rounds off the architectural concept. Panels equipped with acoustic mats fully provide for the complex requirements of open room planning, reducing reverberation and improving speech intelligibility. Their striking aesthetics combine acoustic comfort with a modern appearance. Alongside tailor-made room acoustics, they also enable the integration of lamps. The architects from Gould Evans decided on a linear arrangement of hanging lamps in a gap running along the entire length of the office. The woven texture reflects the light differently depending on the viewing angle without causing an unpleasant glare for observers, thereby creating a working environment that is both dynamic and attractive for staff. A total of 315 mesh panels were used, with all four edges of each panel being folded over and attached to the substructure with clips in line with the design concept. GKD-USA served the architects as a partner that not only took over responsibility for the precise manufacturing and preassembly of the metal mesh panels, but also took charge of the complete assembly of the system.

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