A disruptive ceiling solution
After years of testing its Aeria* textile and stretching it to fit the myriad of situations architects and acoustic engineers have wanted to put it in, Texaa® ended up developing a new open-knit modular textile ceiling solution mounted on frames with a more or less transparent appearance depending on the configurations chosen. Its technical and aesthetic characteristics appear to be turning it into a new-generation solution for specifiers.
Up to then, the Aeria fabric, which was exclusively patented by Texaa®, was mainly used for its transparency to sound in combination with absorbent materials in different shapes and colours, thereby offering a wide range of solutions to architects and acoustic engineers. Seven years ago, Texaa® ran a research programme with the acoustic engineering consultancy Peutz for a project with the architect Renzo Piano in Turin’s Intesa SanPaolo Tower. The work resulted in Texaa® developing and proposing a larger Aeria mesh for a sound dispersal installation with even better acoustic transparency. The resulting effect enabled a view of stainless steel supports running behind the fabric, which disappeared when viewed from the side. This transition from transparent to opaque caught the attention of the designers.
Later, Texaa® decided to pursue this concept of variable transparency with further development work carried out in its laboratory near Bordeaux. As meetings launched discussions and suggestions became tests, new opportunities were explored. Using this new mesh solution for ceiling applications appeared to tick many boxes, removing lighting, air conditioning, sound and sprinkler systems from direct view, without completely concealing them, while making full use of the thermal inertia of the concrete floor. The new solution has been christened “Strato the breathing ceiling”. It meets our Texaa® standard requirements and is both functional and attractive, so it is intrinsically architectural. Several architects and acoustic engineers have seized it to create some salient examples, such as the new ITV premises recently opened in London and the current work being carried out in Troyes hospital, south-east of Paris.
This welcoming, elegant ceiling solution is made up of large panels, which form a visual continuum with a pleasant membrane feel. It is crafted to order in the Texaa® workshop in the colours and dimensions selected by designers. It is easy to install by assembling the modular frames. Strato ceilings are straightforward to assemble and light, unlike metal lattices, and do not need to be supported by the wall, as traditional false ceilings do. Lighting sources, fluid piping, high and low power cabling and other equipment are housed above the membrane. Certain panels can be sound absorbent and invisible hatches give access to the space above. Design possibilities are infinite with the system’s modular construction, the opportunity to use meshes that are or more or less transparent, and the accuracy of the anchoring lines. This is a new multi-combination, multi-solution system invented by Texaa®. Its potential is crying out to be tested and implemented by designers.
*Our sound transparent textile with an exclusive Texaa® patent.