Decoustics Solves Parisian Problem

For over 30 years, Decoustics has designed and manufactured custom acoustical ceiling and wall products. And their range-aesthetically and functionally-has broadened, making design possibilities virtually limitless. Because Decoustics uses a CAD/CAM manufacturing system, they are “able to work to very tight tolerances, producing complex shapes with great accuracy,” thereby providing “architects and designers with the ultimate creative flexibility.”

Claro. Manufactured by Decoustics.

Decoustics has recently been in the news due to their involvement in the new Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Conference Center in Paris, a building that is largely underground-therefore posing problems with natural light and good acoustics. The design team, made up of Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners architects of New York City, Cosentini Associates lighting consultants of New York City, and Acoustique & Conseil acoustical consultants of Paris, decided to solve the conference center’s challenges by using Decoustics’ signature product, Claro, as well as some other Decoustics’ innovations. Claro is a transparent coating with sound-absorbing properties that looks like traditional painted drywall or plaster. It refracts light, giving Claro its bright appearance (as well as it name). But it’s the application that makes Claro so versatile. While it can be directly mounted onto ceilings, Claro becomes an architectural wonder when suspended instead-in customizable shapes that hang glowingly, lit from behind the panel. Claro can also be shaped into S-shapes or waves to create visual interest while optimizing sound-exactly the choice taken by the OECD Conference Center’s architects. CertainTeed, the manufacturer of Decoustics, explains in a press release that the OECD Conference Center used “mostly large, wave-shaped panels to give the conference a glamorous, yet peaceful appearance.”

Decoustics Solves Parisian Problem

Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners also implemented the Decoustics’ product Ceilencio, “an integrated architectural concealed suspension ceiling system that is strong, durable, aesthetically appealing and combines design flexibility with easy downward access.” Overall, more than 192,000 square feet of Claro and Ceilencio were installed, and the project’s general contractor, Parisian firm Societe Industrielle de Constructions Rapides (SICRA), was impressed by Decoustics’ field support. “We did not have to do any field cuts or adjustments on these ceiling panels, something that is customary with most other ceiling systems,” says Jean Luc Balet, Project and Jobsite Manager for SICRA.

Other Decoustics products include Metallo II and Madera, acoustical finishes that resemble metal and wood respectively. One last mention here is owed to Cine-Line, Decoustics’ specialized support for cinema auditoriums: from initial conception to final design, Cine-Line aims to cater to the particular needs of theaters. Decoustics’ wall and ceiling panels make practical sound solutions beautiful. If Decoustics’ solved the difficult design challenges faced by the OECD Conference Center project, it can probably solve your more modest (we should hope) architectural needs.

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