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Exceptional designs

Truly exceptional designs pay close attention to every detail and refuse to accept “good enough”.

Any building project will challenge the designers to preserve their aesthetic vision as the project advances. The process can threaten to take the upper hand over the final product. Compromises may threaten to dilute the sheer force that a building’s design can have on its occupants, and designers must remain focused to keep their vision as the driving force.

This section showcases a collection of projects that illustrate what happens when that vision remains intact right to the end. Projects that make people stop in their tracks. Projects that have turned out to be simply stunning on every level.

Novo NordiskDuda Cars
  Arts et Vie Swimming PoolChizhovka Arena
Improved ROCKFON Mono® Acoustic


      Inspired by company DNA

      The Danish pharmaceutical company NOVO NORDISK wanted their new corporate headquarters in Bagsværd north of Copenhagen to be a bright and open office environment while clearly reflecting the company’s DNA. Henning Larsen Architects won the project with their stylish bid for a circular building with an organic design inspired by the structure and round spiral shape of the insulin molecules, which are the foundation of the Novo Nordisk product range. Henning Larsen Architects also incorporated clear architectural references to the Scandinavian design tradition and to the Danish architect Arne Jacobsen who – aside from his well-known Egg and Swan chairs – also designed for Novo Nordisk.

      "Mono made it possible to create
      a stunning design with continuous surfaces
      that tie the room together"

      The curved building design called for flexible building materials to compliment its circular shape, and Henning Larsen Architects chose to install ROCKFON Mono® Acoustic on both vertical and horizontal surfaces in the large atrium. According to architect Søren Øllgaard “Mono made it possible to create a stunning design with continuous surfaces that tie the room together. On top of that, it was a bonus to be able to make these flexible ceilings and walls, which still maintain their good acoustic properties.”

      Aside from the design flexibility and acoustic benefits, the Mono system also allowed the architects to emphasise the stunning flow of natural light in the building. “With its continuous surfaces, Mono creates a unity, draws light in an exciting way and provides a more interesting look with its rustic surfaces,” says Søren Øllgaard, and concludes “It is refreshing that the ceiling has a texture.”

      See the reference video from Novo Nordisk - VIDEO TO BE UPLOADED


        High standards

        DUDA CARS is the leading Mercedes-Benz dealer in Poznań, Poland. The 7,000 m2 dealership includes a more than 2,100 m2 large covered showroom and service space. The showroom was extended to incorporate a large, new exhibition area and entrance; the renovation connects the old and new showrooms both architecturally and logistically. Proudly displaying the Mercedes-Benz logo, the eye-catching circular entrance is a prominent landmark that distinguishes the showroom of Duda Cars. A feel of prestige was fundamental to the design in line with the brand. “The luxury of the brand defined how the project was realised and the finishes of the building. High standards were fundamental,” explains architect Mariusz Wrzeszcz. “We were looking for a modern solution with large spaces and height. But at the same time, the building and its interior should not be monumental, cold or empty.” Metal and glass are used extensively in the design to lend modernity, and connect with the existing showroom. Artistic installations in the interior, including an interactive steel sculpture suspended in the lobby, contribute a sense of playfulness.

        "ROCKFON ceilings let us
        achieve the effect of
        elegance and prestige"

        Elegantly arranged in a floating grid, ROCKFON Tropic X is used throughout the exhibition spaces for its functionality and design possibilities. “ROCKFON ceilings let us achieve the effect of elegance and prestige. The interior contains elements of art: the cars themselves are like works of art, and these elegant and high-quality ceilings complement this effect. We managed to arrange the ceilings so that they look like a sculpture,” says Wrzeszcz.

        “The user-friendliness of the interior was equally important, so acoustic solutions were crucial. Although the area is huge, there is no unnecessary, disruptive sound.” Services and lighting are easily incorporated into the grid and spacing between panels. The assistance of the ROCKFON acoustic experts was an added advantage. “The support from the ROCKFON staff was great. They helped us both in terms of material choice but also with logistics – even in unforeseen situations and emergencies,” says Wrzeszcz.


          Peaceful atmosphere

          The ARTS ET VIE vacation residence in Plozévet, France, is the first of its kind with an indoor pool in the Brittany area. After an 18-month construction process, the 4-star bungalow residence opened in June 2014, and now welcomes visitors from March to November. Designed for people of all ages, the heated swimming pool primarily caters to families with children during the school holidays and to retirees outside these periods.

          Acoustics in swimming pools are notoriously difficult to handle, so project architect, Gérard- Charles Gautier, faced a challenge in creating an environment that would offer a pleasant experience to both recreational swimmers and playing children. His solution was to equip the pool ceilings with ROCKFON Sonar acoustic stone wool tiles suspended from Chicago Metallic T24 ECR class D grids to achieve a high-quality, reliable structure that would resist corrosion in the humid environment.

          On top of managing acoustics, the smooth, white surface and concealed X-edges of the Sonar tiles also allows designers to create monolithic looking, yet still demountable, ceilings. Building owner, Vincent Berthy, has noticed that the visitors enjoy the atmosphere in the building. “Particularly on the interior aesthetics of the pool, the feedback has been that the visitors appreciate its light and airy design,” he says. “Even with the windows open, the atmosphere is very quiet.”

          “Even when there are children,
          there is no resonance”

          Berthy is convinced that the acoustics in the building play an important role. “The visitors give really good feedback on the pool, because even when there are children, there is no resonance,” he says. “In other buildings the guests would leave because of the noise when we had larger groups of children, but here that is not the case at all. We have no problems, and even with noisy children here, the other customers can still enjoy the pool.” The process also resulted in some valuable experiences to be used in future projects. “The approach to this pool should be generalised, because this is the first time we have had a product of this quality,” Berthy concludes.

          See the reference video from Arts et Vie Swimming Pool - VIDEO TO BE UPLOADED


            Fit for it all

            When Belarus was chosen to host of the 2014 Ice Hockey World Championships, it became clear that the country had to construct a new hockey stadium. The capital was already home to a 15,000-person arena, but according to the competition rules a second rink was needed for the event. The solution became the 9,000-seat CHIZHOVKA ARENA, which is scenically located in a residential area on the Chizhovka reservoir shore in Minsk.

            Inspired by its location, the design of the arena mimics two water drops interacting. “Since the Arena is located on the shore of a reservoir, the principal concept is water drops. I tried to join them in the composition to create the impression of a large drop – that is the larger arena – overflowing into a small drop over an inserted partition,” Chief Architect of the project, Marat N. Grodnikov, explains.

            While the hockey arena was inspired by a single event, Grodnikov wanted to make sure the facilities would also benefit the neighbourhood after the championships ended. To that end, he added a smaller 500-seat rink to be used by the general public and integrated a 5,000 m² shopping area on the building’s third floor.

            As the arena also hosts music events, the acoustic climate was an important consideration throughout the project. “To optimise the project economy, we immediately have made the acoustic analyses,” Grodnikov explains. Once the calculations were done, the arena was outfitted with ROCKFON Artic and ROCKFON Lilia stone wool tiles to achieve the right acoustic climate.

            The result of the creative combination of materials has been a multi-arena with an acoustic environment that is well-suited for its many purposes. “There is no boominess or significant reverberation, and everything produces good acoustic content, especially the larger arena, which is also used for musical performances. And the shows that have performed in the arena have not required any additional sound insulation, since we did not have any problems with the acoustics,” Grodnikov concludes.


              Silence and noise

              The MARKTHAL covered market in the city centre of Rotterdam is one of the first of its kind in the Netherlands. The unique structure was designed by MVRDV Architects, who were approached by the city of Rotterdam to create a combined market and residential building. After several drafts, MVRDV decided that they did not want to cover the market with a traditional low roof, and instead they drafted an arch. “In that way the apartments would be able to see the market, and really experience this,” explains project architect, Anton Wubben, of MVRDV.

              “Whatever we did, the market should be
              the centre of the design, and all the functions
              around it should facilitate this”

              Making the market the focal point of the construction, they decided to cover the inside of the arch with a piece of art consisting of 4,000 colourful panels by local Rotterdam artist Arno Coen. The surrounding apartments were constructed to have a view into the market, and the penthouse apartments were even equipped with glass floors, allowing residents to look directly down onto the stands. To direct visitors’ attention directly towards the life in the market, MVRDV kept all other elements in a very minimal design. “Whatever we did, the market should be the centre of the design, and all the functions around it should facilitate this,” says Wubben, “so the space needed to be as minimally designed as possible.”

              To achieve this discreet expression, MVRDV decided to keep all other functions – such as window frames, floors and ceilings – in a calm, grey tone. “We needed an acoustical ceiling which had no seams whatsoever, and the correct colour possibilities, so there we used ROCKFON Mono® Acoustic,” Wubben says. The result is an impressive structure with a remarkable balance between peaceful privacy and hectic interaction. “In the end we created a space, a framework you could almost say, that is the host for a market, but we could never have imagined the way the city has embraced this project. And although we have worked towards this in the design, the way that people use this building in the end is overwhelming,” he says.

              See the reference video from Markthal - VIDEO TO BE UPLOADED


                High standards

                BESTSELLER wanted its new regional office in Aarhus, Denmark, to have an intimate quality, as opposed to being generic. To avoid creating a huge block on this unique waterfront site at the entrance of the pier, the scheme proposes a series of staggered volumes interconnected by different outdoor spaces. Resembling a small, vibrant city, this flotilla of buildings accommodates 22,000 m² of workplaces, showrooms, an auditorium and various shared spaces above ground as well as 24,000 m² of car parking, studios, logistics and technical services underground. The office is designed by C.F. Møller and is situated in the city’s up-and-coming Docklands district, a former industrial area transformed by new residential, commercial and cultural developments. A new post in Denmark’s second largest city supports the international fashion brand’s rapid expansion.

                Simplicity guides all aspects of the design. With its rectilinear ensemble of volumes, the building forms a striking presence beside the water. A restrained grid of stone and glass characterises the facade. Technical measures including seawater cooling and solar heating aimed at the building’s low-energy operation are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, accentuating the simplicity of the architecture.

                "what we like best
                is its simplicity and seamlessness."

                With an impressive, almost 22,000 m² large monolithic ceiling made from ROCKFON Mono® Acoustic, the vast interior retains its simplicity, lightness and spaciousness while accommodating all the necessary technical functions. Lighting, ventilation and fire installations are concealed in the ceiling, in combination with specially designed tracks. The acoustic and light-reflecting advantages of ROCKFON Mono® Acoustic are essential for the open plan offices and shared spaces. “We aimed to keep the huge ceiling area as simple as possible with the least amount of detailing,” explains Julian Weyer, partner at C.F. Møller. “We’ve reduced the ceiling elements and concealed the technical details, which is why we opted for ROCKFON’s white Mono ceiling. It was a challenge to unclutter the ceiling, but what we like best is its simplicity and seamlessness.

                Improved ROCKFON Mono® Acoustic

                Frank Winters, ROCKFON
                Systems Development Manager
                Most architects and designers like the look of a seamless ceiling, but often feel like they have to choose between aesthetics and acoustics. That was the starting point when we developed ROCKFON Mono® Acoustic, which is the best performing seamless acoustical ceiling you can get. To achieve this unique system, we combined a traditional suspended ceiling system with a specially developed filler and render that gives the ceiling its smooth surface. The result was a ceiling that gives you the fire protection and humidity resistance of stone wool, but is flexible enough that you can create virtually any design with it. To give architects full design freedom, we also created the pliable ROCKFON Mono® Acoustic Flecto panels that can be bended into any curve shape.

                We recently made some updates to ROCKFON Mono® Acoustic, which we think will benefit both architects and installers. For the architects, we have improved the render to give an even smoother and whiter surface that reflects light really well. Installers will appreciate that the improved render can now be applied with high pressure, which makes the application process faster. Installers will also save time with our new brackets, which significantly reduce the need for screws. Finally, we have made the tapered edges of our tiles smaller to produce the same smooth results with a reduced amount of filler.

                  THE BEAUTY INSIDE

                  Revealing the beauty inside renovations and new builds

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