Exposed ceilings can often provide a variety of unwanted design elements, from visible ductwork and plumbing, down to poor acoustics. Luckily for Asta Parking’s new headquarters, The End Design Studio was able to successfully use acoustical materials on the office’s ceiling to help reduce noise and celebrate the company’s brand story.
To redesign the vehicle parking services company’s modern space in Florida, The Dnd Design Studio created a parking garage concept through a smart use of color, floor graphics, lighting, wayfinding and products from acoustical solution provider Kirei. Throughout the office, the design team exposed the ceiling and its elements, meaning hard-working acoustical solutions were required.
Karina Donadel and Carla Nesci, principals of The End Design Studio, utilized Kirei’s EchoPanelproducts to provide the much-needed acoustic absorption throughout the office. The EchoPanel collection offers acoustical baffles, tiles, partitions and more in a full palette of colors, and is also recyclable and considered to be a low-VOC emitting material. Designers can use EchoPanel to create visual interest within a space while also helping to control noise levels in high-traffic areas, such as Asta Parking’s reception area and main office space.
In the following Q&A, Donadel and Nesci discuss which EchoPanel products they used within these spaces when designing Asta Parking’s headquarters and why, along with their tips when it comes to using specific interior design elements like acoustics to help express a company’s brand.
i+s: What prompted The End Design Studio team to incorporate acoustical elements within this space?
Karina Donadel: We were hired by Asta Parking to renovate their new office, located in Florida. In our design scheme, we celebrated the “parking garage” concept through a clever use of floor graphics, lighting, wayfinding and acoustic design elements—each aspect playing an important role in achieving our vision for the space. Making sure the office was acoustically balancedwas important—offices can be loud, but even more so when exposed ceilings are part of the design scheme, as is the case with this space.
i+s: What made you decide to source Kirei for these acoustical design components?
Carla Nesci: Throughout the office, our design team exposed the ceiling and its elements, meaning hard-working acoustical solutions were required throughout. The reception area was designed to feel as if one was entering a parking structure—minimalist, with a blue-hued focal punch.
The design team paired this striking blue color treatment with Kirei’s acoustical H-Baffles in a quieter gray color, mimicking the look of parking garage beams while improving acoustics within this important office entry area where making a first impression—and quieting noisy phones—is paramount.
In the main office area, the old acoustic ceiling tiles were removed—adding height to the space, but presenting a new acoustic challenge due to the exposed concrete, and the heavy-traffic nature of this area.
To mitigate this, while staying within the parking garage concept, the design team painted the main area in blue, while adding the functional, yet modern ceiling-hung EchoStar clouds to provide the much-needed acoustic absorption. Specified again in gray, EchoStar provides a complementary design detail while allowing the other colors within the space to truly shine.
i+s: What Kirei products did you end up selecting for Asta Parking’s new headquarters?
CN: We chose EchoStar because of its very unique design—it would serve its purpose acoustically, but would also provide an interesting design installation opportunity, which we love to do. We liked that the EchoStars were also able to connect to one another and form a structure, or be used independently, which gave design flexibility while covering the ugly ceiling elements. The EchoStars also appear like “clouds,” which cheekily add to the rooftop parking garage feel.
i+s: Were there any design challenges when installing these products within the space? How did you overcome them?
KD: The main design challenge was the condition of the exposed ceiling. For example, in the reception, we wanted the H-Baffles to be evenly spaced out and there were many existing ceiling elements. We had to tape out and measure many times so we could make them all line up without hitting a pipe or a sprinkler or a duct.
The same thing happened with the EchoStars in the open area (the exposed ceiling posed an issue). Good thing we are patient and persisted through, as the end result was very worth it!
i+s: Any tips you’d like to add when it comes to using acoustical materials to help share the brand story of a company?
KD: The great thing about Kirei products is that a designer has a variety of elements to choose from. You can go streamlined and monochrome, or go all out and use the products as a fun, yet functional, design tool; there is flexibility in how you will properly show the brand story of your client in the space.
In this project, the application of acoustic materials created an authentic, fun and acoustically balanced workplace environment that aims to support all inhabitants while celebrating Asta Parking’s brand story (a renowned vehicle parking service with exceptional customer service).