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Walls & Ceilings
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Wall and ceiling manufacturers continue to develop products that improve acoustics, mold and mildew resistance, and design flexibility, while furthering the ongoing effort to be sustainable. The following roundup includes a “breathable” wall covering and the latest 3D ceiling panel. óRita F. Catinella

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The Soft Wall (above) can create a flexible private space within a larger room.

Flexible textile walls expand and compress to create rooms-within-a-room
Soft Wall is a flexible partition prefabricated from 600 thin layers of a soft, translucent, nonwoven textile. The product is currently in development by molo design, the product design firm founded by Canadian architects Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen, whose architectural endeavors include a $110 million public space project in Aomori, Japan.

Soft Wall’s expandable honeycomb structure optimizes the textile’s acoustic-dampening properties, can transmit or absorb light, is compressible for storage and transport, and allows the walls to open, curve, or fold away when not in use. The wall measures a mere inch in length when compressed and extends to lengths of 20' or more when expanded.

Another concept from molo design is the Soft House, a housing system that utilizes the same honeycomb structure and applies it to an enclosed room. Intended to provide a flexible relationship between the private and public spaces of the home, the structure allows rooms and walls to open in a variety of ways or completely fold away when not in use.

Working closely with a non-woven-textile manufacturer and honeycomb fabricators, the architects are designing the material for both Soft Wall and Soft House to be flame-, U.V.-, and chemical-resistant, as well as 100 percent recyclable and made with recycled content. The studio hopes to have a 4' and 6' version of the wall available in spring 2005. molo design, Vancouver.   [ Reader Service # 200 ]



Embossed-plaster-style ceiling helps hide the grid
Ledges, a new suspended ceiling from Armstrong, provides architects with the 3D look and clean, smooth finish of embossed plaster at a fraction of the cost. The ceiling’s design, reminiscent of Old World raised-panel woodwork, adds dimension and architectural detailing to spaces ranging from building lobbies and corridors to hospitality and retail settings. The panel’s distinctive repeating pattern also helps hide the grid system while still providing the accessibility of a suspended ceiling.

The 24'' x 24'' panels have a square edge detail and install easily in an Armstrong Prelude 15¼16'' suspension system. Ledges ceiling panels carry a Class A UL Flame Spread rating and have a Light Reflectance value of .80, meaning they reflect 80 percent of the light that strikes them to help them brighten a space. Armstrong World Industries, Lancaster, Pa. [ Reader Service # 201 ]



Hand-cast-resin rotating partition wall
Working with poured cast resin as a base material, the L.A.-based firm em [collaborative studio] offers a range of products, including lighting, tables, chairs, and accessories. The studio’s Helix 3D partition wall features rotating translucent resin panels with stainless-steel rods, plates, and collars in a mirror or brushed finish. Each 24'' high x 36'' long panel is separated from the next by a 3'' space. The wall system shown here features mixed surface treatments, including all frosted and one side frosted/one side patterned. Since each piece is produced manually, there may be slight dimension and color variations from piece to piece. em [collaborative studio], Los Angeles. [ Reader Service # 202 ]



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