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Hanging tough

Specialty metal ceilings offer a level of creativity and durability that make them the ideal choice for some very special missions.

In spaces where designers need durable materials and full design freedom, specialty metal ceilings are often an ideal fit. Durable and cost-effective, metal ceilings are as easy to design as they are to install.

In the following pages, we take you into three locations with some very unique challenges – but ROCKFON metal ceilings provided the solution. The results may surprise you. 

   Bradley Central High School  Dannelly Field
   Victoria Pool  ROCKFON Specialty Metal Ceilings


      Curves ahead

      Located in Cleveland, Tennessee, BRADLEY CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL is a National School of Excellence serving 1,700 students in grades 9 through 12. When plans were made to construct a new fine arts centre, the school district wanted the $3.3 million, 2,300 m2 building completed within 12 months. “We had a very tight frame for completing this project,” notes Cason Conn, project manager for general contractor TRI-CON. “We had to condense the schedule and that meant the auditorium seats needed to be installed prior to the ceiling system going in. As a result, scaffolding could not be erected for the ceiling installation. That presented quite a challenge for our installer, Wallace Tile,” says Conn.

      Wallace Tile Vice President Seth Bussey worked with Grohovac of ROCKFON to develop an alternate installation plan to assemble the five 8’ x 25’ ROCKFON CurvGrid sections on the ground, connect them into pods, hoist the pods up to the ceiling area using a lift, and then connect them in the air. An installation like this would be virtually impossible to accomplish with any other curved ceiling system. “What made this possible was ROCKFON CurvGrid’s combination of rigidity and light weight,” noted Grohovac. The primary carrier also allows for fewer suspension wires that are set back from the edge of the pods, further enhancing the floating cloud effect. Using the space above the audience was an integral part of the design. Angie Lyon, project architect with KBJM Architects, chose the ROCKFON CurvGrid ceiling system to create the look she envisioned. “I didn’t want a traditional flat ceiling,” said Lyon. “My vision was for a feeling of movement, something that would draw the eye. ROCKFON CurvGrid is fluid and dynamic.” Lyon chose the ROCKFON CurvGrid two-directional suspension system with flexible metal panels in Morning Dew, a soft, metallic gold colour. The colour selection complemented the warm golds and yellows used throughout the Fine Arts Center interior.

      “It makes the usually complex installation process
      extremely uncomplicated”

      In addition to the ROCKFON CurvGrid, Lyon chose a Chicago Metallic 1200 ceiling suspension system to create floating ceiling sections housing acoustic panels. The sections had a stepped perimeter for visual effect and were finished with ROCKFON Infinity Perimeter Trim, to create a crisp, clean look. Having never worked with ROCKFON specialty products before, Lyon was pleased with the support she received. “Carlo Grohovac, my ROCKFON rep, was very involved and cared about getting us what we wanted. He explained the product, made sure I was comfortable, and cared about it being right.”


        Loud and clear

        Alabama Army and Air National Guard’s DANNELLY FIELD is home to the 187th Fighter Wing and hosts a squadron of F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft. The new auditorium forms part of a $1.9 million expansion project. Providing continuity, Seay- Seay & Litchfield Architects and Acoustical and Drywall were asked to return five years after working on the original facility. The team subsequently collaborated with ROCKFON on the custom ceiling installation.

        “It's essential that the personnel in the room
        hear clearly and correctly
        the important information being communicated”

        The auditorium performs an essential function as ROCKFON district manager Carlo Grohovac notes. “This is a very special facility where they brief the team before they are sent out for special operations. They’re reviewing tactical manoeuvres and establishing how they go into battle. It’s essential that the personnel in the room hear clearly and correctly the important information being communicated.” Climate was also an integral consideration. An absorbent timber ceiling, which was the desired finish, cannot withstand the hot, humid south Alabama summer. Therefore a metal ceiling was selected to provide durability and maintain the intended aesthetic. Constructed of recycled aluminium, ROCKFON SpanAir Torsion Spring Panels contain no VOCs and mitigate mould and microbial growth.

        “It looks like wood and matches
        the colour of the trim in the existing facility”

        The metal may be specified with an elevated recycled material content and is 100% locally recyclable. A perfect solution to match the interior finishes, the metal ceiling panels are customised with a hand-painted WoodScenes® walnut finish, offering better performance and significant cost savings over wood. “It looks like real wood and matches the colour of the trim in the existing facility,” says E&E’s Adam Easterling. “The all-metal product and ROCKFON Infinity Perimeter Trim will hold up better than real wood.” Careful installation was required in the fan-shaped auditorium. “The panels are each a trapezoidal shape and connect into 30-inch by 5-foot tapered pods,” Grohovac says. “Each pod of panels is installed for increased acoustic performance. The pods are suspended at the proper angle and aligned with equal spacing for a uniform appearance. Lights, sprinklers, vents and other necessary equipment are carefully positioned between the pods.”


          Swimming for victory

          In the unique location of Causeway Bay in the northern part of the Hong Kong island, a new swimming pool facility has been constructed to replace its neighbouring predecessor. Set in Victoria Park, the new pool offers the public a venue to practise and observe high-level aquatics. The project was initiated by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) to encourage international competition in sports including swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming. Able to seat around 2,500 people, the VICTORIA POOL is considered the largest pool in Hong Kong with a spectator stand.

          The new complex includes a 50 x 25 meter indoor heated pool, a 33 x 25 meter indoor heated multi-purpose pool, a diving and training pool, a children’s pool, shower and toilet facilities, changing rooms and the park management office. The new design also features a streamlined exterior glass wall built alongside the trees in Victoria Park, creating curves and interesting patterns which give the pool a contemporary feel and link it to the surroundings. Another unique feature is the ceiling of the main pool, which is punctured by large circular skylights.

          Considering both the aesthetic and functional aspects of the design, Architectural Services Department (ASD) Architects used high-performance materials in their design of the complex for increased safety and durability. They chose the ROCKFON Dampa Metal ceiling system due to its robustness and high sound absorption qualities. ASD Architects also added a number of energy-saving measures to develop the design, including solar collectors, a solar heating system and a rainwater recycling system. Trees are extensively planted around the building, with landscaped areas on the rooftop and terraces.

          ROCKFON Specialty Metal Ceilings

          Patrick Wallis, ROCKFON
          Specialty Metal Ceilings
          Product Manager
          Specialty metal ceilings can be used to add interest and appeal in virtually any space. Light, durable and incredibly flexible to work with, they can be arranged in impressive curved formations for visual impact in entryways and auditoriums, or aligned in simple geometric patterns to create a calm ambience in common spaces. Cost-efficient and easy to install, our specialty metal ceilings are a popular choice for projects where the architects need maximum design freedom and guaranteed product longevity.

          Our wide range of curved, linear, plank and open-cell ceilings makes it easy to find the perfect solution for every need. To keep up with changing aesthetical trends, we continuously develop our range of finishes to give designers the choice between matte, glossy, coloured or wood-look solutions. These wood-look metal solutions have custom-painted finishes and look like wood, but are more stable, hold up better to humidity and are easier to install. Currently, the Planar and open-cell lines are some of our very popular solutions, as they are easy to install on our standard suspension systems and provide options for using perforations or backings to improve acoustics in a space.


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