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Why office ceilings are more important than you think

You could assume that because you don’t stare at the ceiling all day, it’s not an important component of your office design. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, ceilings play an important role in helping you maximise lighting, manage acoustics and reduce energy costs. They can also make different areas within your office space feel airy and expansive, or cosy and comfortable.

There are lots of ways of creating stylish and creative office ceilings. When done well, they can dramatically enhance any environment, without taking up additional space. Some of our favourite ceiling designs include the PRS offices in Israel, which features a lattice ‘Sky Ceiling’ structure that replicates the pillowy shape of the sky. Not only does it look great, but it also acts as an excellent sound absorber. For something a little more modern, check out the ENTEL headquarters in Chile, which feature painted metal panels for a tech-style ceiling that looks fantastic during the day or lit up at night.

Ceilings play an important role in helping you maximise lighting, manage acoustics & reduce energy costs. Click To Tweet

Another example of a unique ceiling design is the origami-inspired ceiling at Tane Furniture Design. Made from sustainable timber, the ceiling does a great job of disguising pipes, ductwork, smoke detectors, fire alarms, air conditioning and other necessary but ‘ugly’ services. Its interesting shape also offers great acoustic control, to reduce noise and echoing across the spacious office.

If you’re planning an office fitout and need some inspiration for ceiling interior designs, here are just some popular styles to consider.

Feature slat panel ceilings

Slat panels are usually made from sustainable timber and add warmth to a workplace environment, offering earthy textures and good sound absorption. An example is the slat panels we designed for the kitchen and breakout room at DHA Parramatta, customised to suit their office space and brand personality.

Inset ceilings

Also known as a tray ceilings, the centre of inset ceilings are higher than the surrounding area. This style can make a room look luxurious and welcoming, particularly with ambient lighting. We designed a beautiful inset ceiling for the reception area at Ironfish as a distinctive and impressive feature of its overall design.

Acoustic panel ceilings

Acoustic panel ceilings offer control of ambient noise where you want to create ‘quiet areas’ as well as in refurbished heritage buildings with tin rooves. They can also add depth and interest to your ceiling, coming in a wide range of different shapes, colours and textures – including opportunities for unique customised designs. Some styles add a new dimension when backlit.

Acoustic panels are commonly used in open-plan workplaces and areas such as foyers, collaboration areas or meeting rooms. Another advantage is that they’re easy to remove and reuse if you move to another office.

Read more: Your ultimate guide to planning a new office

Exposed ceilings

This ceiling style leaves structural and mechanical systems exposed, either painted or in their natural state. It’s an industrial look that can make a space look larger and give you more flexibility with lighting options. Our fitout at Adcorp highlighted the wooden beams and pipes in the ceiling, adding character to their office environment.

Linear panels

Linear panels can be used as an acoustic treatment, or purely for aesthetics. Either way, they offer a stylish addition to your office space. We used linear panels with inset lighting in the meeting rooms at Coleman Grieg Lawyers  to add an interesting directional effect that complemented other elements of their workplace design.

Suspended ceilings

Suspended ceilings are the most common type of ceiling used in offices. Easy to install, fire resistant and energy efficient, they deliver excellent sound absorption and insulation properties. While they’ve been used since the 1950s, there are now a lot more interesting styles, textures and colours on the market than ever before.

This article in our four-part Design Series focuses on the range of effects you can achieve with different types of office ceiling treatments. Check out our other articles on flooring, lighting and wall ideas

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