15 ideas in 2015: Ingenious ceilings

by Tania Wannenburg

WALLS & ROOFS has compiled a few ideas for clever, yet practical ceilings.

An interesting ceiling design can liven up a space and create a certain feel in a room or an entire building. Not necessarily always first on the list of priorities when it comes to interior fit-outs, ceilings expand the scope of interior building design. Here is some inspiration:

1.    Armadillo-style ceiling
The ceiling above the food and entertainment area in the Cradlestone Mall was designed by Bentel Associates to contour plasterboard systems into the unique, jagged shape of an armadillo-style roof, framed by three-dimensional bulkheads that lend the mall an angular expression. The high aesthetic specification of the finishes exposed to extreme light is coupled with great acoustic performance.

2.    Dramatic bulkheads
In an upmarket Zimbali home, Intersect Architects made full use of the ceiling as a design feature with bulkheads and floating ceilings creating dramatic effects within this magnificent home. To create more lighting under a concrete bridge, a bulkhead made from multipurpose ceiling board and specialist trims was custom-designed as a feature.

3.    Vaulted ceiling
A vaulted ceiling makes the space look larger than it is and in this residential project, constructed out of strong and flexible plasterboard, it helps to add a lot of light to the home.

4.    Ceiling tiles in staggered design
The Overport City Shopping Centre’s high-volume ceilings consist of perforated ceiling tiles with an excellent fire performance rating of A/A1/1. The staggered design coupled with greenery makes for a refreshing feature.

5.    Expanded mesh ceiling
With light fittings installed behind an expanded mesh ceiling, the Office for Collaborative Architects (GAPP + MMA + MRA) achieved a subtle bleed of diffused light without exposing the fittings, ideal for the café area at Freedom Park Museum. Behind these metal mesh tiles, mechanical and electrical services are exposed above the lighting within the void and the concrete soffit insulation is covered by a black sonic liner

6.    Using wallpaper as accent
Although fairly simple in design, decorative ceiling designs such as in this Morningside residence create interesting features accentuated with lighting. The elegant black and white wallpaper used on the ceiling recess, coupled with decorative cornices, creates a beautiful feature that is both striking and yet easy to achieve.

7.    Linear metal strip tiles
Linear metal strip tiles are all about the looks and at the Bridge City Rail Commuter Station, it combines well with the typical subway tiles. Installed by suspending a carrying channel with threaded rods, the aluminium metal strips just lay into that system.

8.    Acoustically sound
The new Rewardsco building is a landmark green building for Umhlanga Ridge. Its light and airy interior features perforated gypsum board ceilings together with 100mm insulations that create both an appealing look as well as excellent acoustics.

9.    Working with wood
For a naturally beautiful, but functional finish, a solid wood grid ceiling, curved with vertically positioned slats was installed in the Innes Chambers building in Johannesburg. Using a proprietary fixing system, the ceiling is demountable in sections to provide easy access to the plenum. Consisting of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) covered with genuine wood veneer, the wood panels also meet local fire-rating requirements.

10.    Acoustic foam ceilings

At the Betty T Ferguson Recreation Centre in Miami Gardens, Florida, the ceiling was decorated with light-weight, acoustic, class A fire-rated expanded melamine foam tubes that represent pool noodles.  The multi-coloured layout was suspended with a steel stretched cable system from an aluminium frame at various heights to create a three dimensional sound wave effect.

Hanged from eye hooks, fireproof melamine foam rondos make for eye-catching ceiling designs and can be installed either vertically or horizontally. Selected primarily for their exceptional acoustical properties, they dramatically reduce noise and eliminate echoes. What’s more, they are UV resistant and unaffected by heat and humidity.

11.    Playful ceilings
In tune with the function of the space, the ceiling of the kids club at Virgin Active Ballito was designed with floating bulkheads that tie in with the colour palette of the room.

12.    Clever contrast
The ceiling over the Kauai at Virgin Active Ballito was designed as a floating bulkhead that is offset against the charcoal painted soffit and services. This design allowed the suspended LED strip lights to float and cut into the surrounding bulkhead of the lounge.

13.    Set the mood
Using black inlay ceiling tiles with acoustic properties, Design Line Architects and Elphick Proome Architects designed a practical ceiling which allows for easy access to services. Combined with starlights, it creates a relaxing atmosphere apt for the Mind/Body Studio at Virgin Active Ballito. The ceiling tiles also have an inherent stiffness which allows for installation of the fixtures without the need to install backing boards.

14.    Metal tray tiles
Unaffected by humidity and enamelled with polyester epoxy powder for surface protection, the metal tray ceiling tiles installed at Durban International Airport is dust-resistant and very low maintenance.

15.    Ultramodern homeomorphism
A 3D motion mapping and light projection exhibition by Turkish design studio, Ouchhh, maps out continuous transformations of circular and geometric shapes on the ceiling of a darkened dome. Made up of infinitely repetitive patterns, spectators find it visually and aurally mesmerising.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to GAPP Architects, Saint-Gobain Gyproc, Pelican Systems, Hunter Douglas, Capco and Ouchhh for the information given to write this article.

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