SYNERFUSE A Case Study on How to Fuse Interest and Energy with Acoustics and Privacy
When Commercial Furniture Services took on a retrofit of a building housing two corporate offices, they had a goal of transforming the stark spaces into welcoming workplaces. With the help of Minnesota-based architects, Nelson and Firm Ground, their mission to inject interest and energy, while improving acoustics and privacy, was achieved with the installation of Fräsch baffle and acoustical ceiling cloud products and acoustical lighting fixtures.
BEFORE, THERE WAS A PROBLEM
Two adjoining, antiquated offices were recently gutted with the goal of modernizing and energizing both spaces. One side of the building was to be used for executive offices and a showroom, and the other was to be occupied by a healthcare group. Once the building materials were stripped away, the sprawling spaces, with their hard surfaces including metal and concrete, suffered from echoes and reverberation…the exact opposite desired effect.
The initial overall appearance of both spaces left much to be desired. The building was like many standard office spaces. Looking up, one could see a standard, metal T-Grid ceiling. Looking around, both spaces were wide and open, with few interior dividing walls.
SMART FIXES FOR SYNERFUSE
The goal of the design team was to inject both interest and energy into the renovated spaces, particularly the healthcare side of the renovation. All this…while dividing the space into multiple meeting areas including a lobby, executive lounge, event center, conference room, training center and individual meeting rooms.
The decision was made to strip away the standard T-Grid drop-in ceiling tiles and harsh fluorescent lighting fixtures in favor of more interesting and aesthetically and acoustically pleasing products. The color palette was likewise thoughtfully chosen to create warm and inviting spaces.
In terms of challenges, the greatest one came about mid-project but was overcome with elbow grease and a few wooden boards. With the building so open, when it came time to install a large ceiling product, there wasn’t a place to rest it during its assembly that would support it as it neared completion. To combat this, a wooden frame was constructed to box in the array before it would be hoisted to the ceiling. Aside from this small-time set-back, the project was completed smoothly and on-time due to the research and planning that was conducted before the first piece of building material was stripped away for the renovation to begin.
This project is an ideal example of how open offices can be converted into more modern and multi-use spaces without sacrificing one benefit for another. Sometimes products can be both beautiful and help to improve acoustics. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it, too.