Ceiling Clouds Provide Functional Ceiling Art
WHISPERWAVE Ceiling Clouds provide the visual appeal that inspired relocated workers at Stony Brook Medicine on Long Island to embrace new offices in a renovated building a few miles from the main facility. In addition to inviting eye movement and providing style, pinta acoustic’s WHISPERWAVE clouds absorb reflected sound, which establishes a more productive work environment.
One of the primary purposes of the additional 40,000-square foot building was to create an attractive, intelligent work environment to accommodate various administrative departments such as procurement, admittance and accounts payable. Some of these groups function in teams, others operate independently, and some have call-intensive functions.
“A majority of the personnel relocating into this new space have for many years worked at Stony Brook Medicine in windowless areas that are spread around various campus facilities,” states Michael Mannetta, AIA, senior partner/director of design at Spector Group Architects. “While their existing office environments were somewhat dark and uninviting, it was their space, and the idea of change was not one that they would embrace easily.”
Stony Brook Medicine’s new building features an inviting reception area and two open-plan office spaces with low-height partitioned workstations. The office areas have painted gypsum board walls, exposed ductwork and corrugated metal deck ceilings, interior glass and continuous exterior windows with other hard-finish surfaces, which reflect sound. Reflected sound travels freely over cubicle walls and reverberates within the spaces, making it harder for workers to concentrate, focus on telephone conversations and achieve effective team communication.
To create a productive environment, provide innovative style and reduce noise, the architect developed elevation drawings using both concave and convex ceiling clouds in undulating and barrel vault patterns. The design provides ceiling art with an acoustical function for the reception area and two open-plan office spaces.
“When they saw the renderings for the new open-plan office space with a distinctive waveform ceiling design, they were thrilled,” says Mannetta.
Concerned about the cost of the curved clouds originally specified, Stony Brook's in-house construction group sought alternatives. Customized to a similar size and radius, pinta’s WHISPERWAVE clouds were identified and accepted as an alternative. In addition to being significantly lower in cost than the product originally specified, WHISPERWAVE clouds absorb 50 percent more sound, are thicker, of lighter weight and require basic carpenter skills to install without the use of special suspension kit accessories.
One hundred-eight, HPC-coated, 46- by 72- by 3-inch-thick concave and convex WHISPERWAVE clouds were installed in three spaces—all with 18-foot ceilings. The majority of the clouds were suspended above both open-plan office areas—the smaller designed to accommodate 50 staff members, the larger 110 employees.
Using corkscrew hangers with quick-setting cables, WHISPERWAVE clouds were suspended and consistently spaced to fit between lighting fixtures and exposed HVAC ductwork. Cloud locations were measured on the floor. Installers used laser light to shoot anchor points where cables were fastened to the corrugated metal deck. Suspended at various elevation heights and positions, curved clouds were accurately cut to fit on-site to suit random sprinkler locations as necessary.
Made from Class 1 fire-rated, lightweight willtec foam, WHISPERWAVE Ceiling Clouds are offered with standard and custom designs in natural white or light grey. An optional HPC protective coating is available in black, white, light blue, almond, ivory, light and medium grey colors. Cloud sizes may be any dimension up to 48 by 96 inches, and the standard thickness is 3 inches.