Acoustic ceilings can help to create an all-embracing silence

Silence. You immediately notice it when you enter the Créagora building in Champion (Namur). A pleasant, all-embracing silence.

And all this while our eardrums have just been plagued by the persistent noise from the nearby motorway. A few seconds in the interior of Créagora will suffice to make you aware of the extremely positive influence of the acoustic ceiling solutions from Rockfon, which have been applied in a well-considered way to promote the comfort of the employees.

"As a client, we were confronted with two major challenges in this project: the sloping terrain and the motorway, the noise of which is amplified when it rains," says Didier Géronnez, project manager and building manager at Christian Mutuality. «The acoustic engineer at AVEA consulting worked out a terrain model by monitoring the sound level for fifteen days with the help of sound meters.

The findings - at certain moments the noise increased to 85 dB! - were transferred to Atelier 4D and Atelier d'Architecture Ad'A architects, who designed the building together. The strict north-south orientation guarantees the unique lines of sight and the continuity of the green environment. This strategic location also offers a solution to the acoustic problem, thanks to the specific geometry of the facades in places where the noise of the motorway clashes with the building.

Sacred silence despite a busy working environment

Inside the building, conversations are by no means experienced as disturbing. In the meeting rooms, you only notice the slight buzz of ventilation. On the other hand, you don’t hear the twenty people who are following training in the adjoining meeting room, while both rooms are merely separated by movable walls. "It is undoubtedly that excellent acoustic performance that ensures that these days we get more and more questions from companies that want to reserve our meeting rooms," said Didier Géronnez.

Thanks to the 3,000 m² Rockfon Krios acoustic ceiling panels that can be found on all floors.

In the two large office spaces reserved for call centres, the acoustic properties are enhanced by sound-absorbing furniture, which has been custom-developed based on the specifications of the acoustic engineer. In the first call centre, CM employees receive calls from elderly people and sometimes have to be able to speak loudly without disturbing their neighbour. On the other hand, the calling seniors must get the impression that they are on the line with a single person and must therefore not perceive disturbing background noise. In the second call centre, the operators receive approximately two thousand calls a day and therefore there is enormous activity. However, there is also a consecrated silence there.

The philosophy translated into "vertical street" to create wow-effect

"The first discussions within the framework of the Créagora project were not about the building, but about the philosophy behind the project," recalls Didier Géronnez.

Créagora

Rue de Fernelmont 40
5020 Namur
Belgium

The idea was to create a research, development, and innovation environment where various actors with common interests and addressing challenges of aging can meet, collaborate and exchange valuable information

Didier Géronnez

The architects put this concept into practice through the integration of a "vertical street" - a huge architectural and acoustic challenge since this stairwell almost covers the entire height of the building.

"It was certainly a first for us," says architect Dany Poncelet (Atelier 4D). It was a specific requirement that effectively led to a very special realization. In preparation, we made 3D visualisations and even a model in polystyrene, but it was only on the day that the stairwell was removed that we could see the result. The "vertical street" flows into pedestrian lanes, stairs, terraces, squares and lookout points, where CM employees can chat, drink a coffee or work to their heart's content."

Since then, in this extraordinary space, which has become the heart of the building, numerous excellent ideas have emerged. That is why the ultramodern lifts are used much less than the stairs ...

A valuable acoustic contribution

Despite the non-acoustic glazing floor tiles, the discussions between the employees and the sound of plates and cutlery, the restaurant has the same acoustic climate as in the rest of the building. The Rockfon Krios ceiling panels are complemented with immense white Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic elements to optimize sound absorption. Two pieces that are easy to maintain and preserve their uniform white colour as time goes by. Just like the rest of the acoustic degree.

Rockfon Krios, A, 600 x 600

Rockfon Krios, A, 600 x 600

Rockfon Krios, A, 600 x 600

Rockfon Krios, A, 600 x 600

Acoustic ceiling solution: Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic - Chicago Metallic™ Monolithic
Acoustic ceiling solution: Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic - Chicago Metallic™ Monolithic
Acoustic ceiling solution: Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic - Chicago Metallic™ Monolithic
Acoustic ceiling solution: Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic - Chicago Metallic™ Monolithic
Acoustic ceiling solution: Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic - Chicago Metallic™ Monolithic
Rockfon Krios, A, 600 x 600

Rockfon Krios, A, 600 x 600

Rockfon Krios, A, 600 x 600

Rockfon Krios, A, 600 x 600

Acoustic ceiling solution:

Créagora

Location:Namur, Belgium
Architect:Atelier 4D & Atelier d'Architecture Ad'A
Photographer:Michael van Oosten
Tiles:Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic
Grids:Chicago Metallic™ Monolithic