Home » Blending Acoustics and Color to Capture a Better Experience
Every inch of Washington, D.C.-based International Spy Museum was designed and constructed to capture the essence of espionage, secrecy and intrigue. Products help contribute to the intensive, quiet and focused feeling that permeates the space.
Designed by London-based lead architect Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in collaboration with Hickok Cole of Washington, D.C., the 140,000-square-foot building quickly has become recognizable for its distinct and dynamic identity. The building's exterior features dramatic, sloped columns; a backlighted, folded, metal panel skin; and a pleated glass veil – all emphasizing the museum's theme of "hiding in plain sight."
The theme continues into the seven-story building's eight-floor interior. Behind the scenes, sustainable goals also guided the building's design and construction in earning LEED Silver certification. The purpose-built nonprofit museum facility more than doubled the space of the previous location's education and programming space. Above the two-story lobby and retail area, and the three floors of exhibition and theatre space, are two floors of set-back event space and a rooftop terrace with nearly 360-degree views of city.
Enhancing the visitors' experience within the museum, sound-absorbing Rockfon Alaska, Rockfon Koral™ and Rockfon Color-All™ acoustic stone wool ceiling panels were installed in the building's two-story lobby, corridors, bathrooms, designated galleries and the event space. All of these products offer a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.85 or higher.
"The space presented some design challenges, as there were a lot of hard surfaces to counteract in a large area. The architect wanted a high-NRC product to help acoustics," said Rockfon's district sales manager for D.C., Patrick Blasi.
In the hallways, Rockfon Alaska's smooth, white surface reflects 86% of available light, and provides high sound absorption (NRC = 0.90). In the restrooms, Rockfon Koral also provides a cleanable surface with good sound absorption (NRC = 0.85).
With an NRC of up to 0.90, Rockfon Color-All 2-by-8-foot Anthracite panels were selected for the lobby and 1-by-5-foot Concrete panels for the gallery and event space. "They picked our Color-All colors, and designed the entire space around our colors, so everything would blend seamlessly together," added Blasi.
All of these stone wool ceiling products from Rockfon also offer high fire performance and have earned GREENGUARD Gold Certification for low-VOC emission. Products with this GREENGUARD certification contribute to indoor air quality and support LEED criteria. Stone wool's natural properties for resisting moisture and humidity also are key attributes in museum installations with sensitive climate-controlled protection.