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The Diversity of Wall Coverings

04/06/2015 14:50:13

Jade Tilley, Editor, Interior Design Today and Architect’s Choice reports.

As an editor, I see a lot of wall coverings, fabrics, panels, cladding et al. You name it, I’ve probably seen it, touched it, been sent its swatches through the post, experienced it’s material values and been talked to about the benefits it provides to projects. 

As technologies evolve and designers work to integrate these into their projects, the demand on product manufacturers in the acoustic wall and surface industry increases. On recent trips to demonstrations of automated home technology set ups, I have witnessed a range of wall surfaces and ceiling designs, created to seamlessly fit in with the audio and visual needs of the designer and end user. These special plasters, wallcoverings and dropped ceilings, all serve the hidden features behind it, projecting sound and disguising unsightly wires and necessary tech gear, to create beautiful spaces that the designer can present to their clients.

It is not just hidden technology that needs to be considered. The acoustics of a space, be it residential or hospitality, are of paramount importance and it is exhibitions like the Surface Design Show that present designers and architects with the latest product concepts to deliver perfectly crafted spaces through intelligent and futuristic acoustic design.

What many people do not realize, is that often the paneling, wall coverings or ‘ceiling sculptures’ are not just there as vast pieces of art or design, but function on a much more intrinsic level. Take the award winning Everyman Theatre, Liverpool. A technical design giant created by architects Haworth Tompkins, this theatre space won the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize, and rightly so. Haworth Tompkins was selected for the build based on previous theatre work. They know how to manipulate space to create the best acoustics possible. Haworth Tompkin’s used the company CMS Dankin acoustics for much of their needs. Just take a look inside the actual stage space and you’ll see what a challenge it must have been to get just right and how the space will continue to change, dictated by footfall and the various sounds that will reverberate off the stage in years to come.

Exhibitors at the Surface Design Show know all about these challenges presented to designers, when faced with projects that require very specific, very detailed and accurate acoustic demands. 

Acoustic GRG Products have experience in this field with their RPG Waveform Bicubic, which has been used in a performance hall to fantastic effect. Beautiful curves and a sense of fluidity pervade the space and create, tone, texture and incredible sound.

Knauf AMF Ceilings present Heradesign, wood-wool based ceiling tiles that are completely adaptable, affordable and easy to install. Perfect for office spaces, these tiles provide sound regulation and a soft neutral palette for a variety of interior spaces.

Moving into the more decorative aspects of wall covering design, I will be looking out for Altfield and Pintark at the show. Altfield have got the art of the metallic trend down to a tee, providing a range of wall coverings that meet the demands of a host of client needs. Perfect for hotel lobbies and bedroom spaces, they offer decadence and well made design as a standard. Pintark by loco Design offers advanced surface treatments and custom design solutions that have to be seen to be believed.

Take a look online or better still, visit the Surface Design Show from 9 – 11 February 2016 and see what they have to say about their designs. 

See you at the show in the New Year
Jade 

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