Custom abstract butterfly shapes take visitors from inside to Bill’s Backyard of the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. Made with pinta’s Willtec foam, they are part of a multiyear renovation and expansion that provides acoustical control and creates movement in the circulation area.           


The museum also added a sculpture made from pinta acoustic’s Sonex Rondo Baffles that absorbs sound and symbolizes green and natural things in the FoodShed café at the museum. The museum offers interactive exhibits and programs encompassing science, humanities, performing arts, health and physical fitness. 


Recently added to the Children’s Discovery Museum, Bill’s Backyard is an outdoor learning environment. A half-acre of welcoming and safe nature exploration, the outdoor interactive exhibits allow kids to climb, dig, plant and more. To get to Bill’s Backyard, museum goers pass through a tall circulation area. Using abstract Willtec acoustic foam butterfly shapes, David Fenster, principal at Modulus in Cal., added direction and movement leading from the beginning of the circulation path to Bill’s Backyard.


“The branding for Bill’s Backyard includes butterflies,” says Fenster. “We created abstract butterflies out of pinta’s Willtec acoustic foam that swarm together to guide visitors, with the added benefit of sound absorption.”


The circulation area is approximately 1,800 square feet (167.23 square meters) with tall, 40-foot (12.19-meter) ceilings that triangulate in sections. The area has skylights, polished concrete floors, drywall, large glass doors and other hard, reflective surfaces, requiring sound absorption. Fenster used test pieces, crafted in the computer and made from cardboard, to determine the best shapes and sizes to achieve the look. He worked with pinta acoustic’s team to develop an innovative approach to hang 1,700 lightweight shapes from the ceiling. They used a net to provide a grid to hang the baffles at different heights to achieve the vision.


“The eye-catching foam sculptures provide the perfect solution for absorbing the sound of hundreds of children having fun every day,” says Marilee Jennings, executive director of Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. “The experience our visitors now have is so much more pleasant and aesthetically pleasing with these remarkably creative and imaginative designs.”


Willtec flat sheets are readily available in a variety of shapes, sizes and thicknesses with square- or bevel-edge options. Willtec provides superior sound absorption and limitless design possibilities at an economical cost. Panels are available in various shapes up to 48 by 96 inches (1219 to 2438 mm) in standard and custom thicknesses from 1 to 4 inches (25 to 102 mm). Willtec is offered in natural white or light grey, and water-based acoustic coating, in standard and custom colors.


The Children’s Discovery Museum also renovated its café, the FoodShed, wanting to transform it into an appealing place to eat and promote fresh and healthy foods. Featuring reclaimed and recycled material, the café is approximately 40 by 40 feet (12.19 by 12.19 meters) with a 30-foot (9.14-meter) ceiling. Prior to the renovation, the café had a spray-on acoustic treatment on the walls that was collecting dirt and grime. An acoustic treatment to replace the spray-on acoustic foam and mitigate noise from hundreds of kids who visit the museum every day was needed. Modulus created an overhead sculpture of colorful pinta acoustic Sonex Rondo Baffles. The Sonex Rondo Baffles are water-based acoustic, coated in two green and three orange hues.


“The museum wanted something that would involve and educate the kids and be a part of the museum experience,” says Fenster. “The abstract and engaging sculpture was hung from the ceiling with mechanical fasteners down to where the sound can be absorbed.”


Sonex Rondo Baffles offer design versatility and exceptional acoustical properties. Class 1, CAN ULCS-102 fire rated, the baffles are easy to install vertically or horizontally. Available in natural white or light grey, and water-based acoustic coating, in standard or custom colors, Sonex Rondo Baffles are offered in sizes up to 24 inches (610 mm) in length and 6 inches (152 mm) or custom diameters.


For information on pinta acoustic’s products, visit, email, or call 1.800.662.0032 or +1 612.355.4200.