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Design Inspiration

6 Acoustic Ceiling Options to Curb Excess Noise in the Office

May 24, 2023

Are you baffled by baffles?  

Acoustic wellness is crucial for a productive workplace and creating a welcoming environment where anyone would want to spend time. Proper acoustic treatments, like acoustic baffle systems or acoustic ceiling clouds, can reduce excess noise, create a focal point of interest in spaces, and lead to more productive inhabitants.  

While it can be easy to get confused by all the noise of those technical aspects, to put it simply, everything in a space will affect noise dispersion: flooring materials, windows, wall coverings, doorways, system integrations, architectural ceiling systems, architectural features, fixtures, and equipment.   

“Gensler Office” Miami, FL, Gensler-MIA (Architect) Featuring: Atmosphera® Swell by Arktura

Choosing the correct type of acoustic ceiling solution that works best for you may depend on the intended purpose of your space. Still, conventional wisdom says to cover your ceilings strategically. 

Acoustic baffles from Arktura are usually linear in form and entirely composed of our proprietary Soft Sound® noise-absorbing material. These modules hang suspended, or in some cases, directly mounted to substrate or t-grids in the plenum when installed.  

Acoustic clouds on the other hand, hang suspended in larger formations. These structures are usually in an arrayed configuration comprising of a series of modules, or specifically placed on the ceiling to maximize performance in targeting high traffic or noisy areas.

“Confidential Client” Gensler (Architect), Featuring: SoundAngle® by Arktura

Now let’s look at various design configurations and types of commercial ceiling designs and systems that Arktura offers to see which systems work best for your next project.

Six Distinct Acoustic Cloud Ceiling and Acoustic Baffle Designs

1. Linear – Tried and True

“Lumber Liquidators” Richmond, VA, Wendel (Architect), Featuring: SoundBar® by Arktura

One of the most common form factors out on the market currently are linear, horizontally installed acoustic baffles. As mentioned before, these linear bars are either made of acoustic dampening material or are fully enveloped in the material and installed in tandem with other baffles. They can form full linear grids arrayed across a plane or dynamically concentrated over specific areas. 

These elongated baffles are a popular choice as they can be easily installed on most standard grid or tile systems, and only partially cover the ceiling above. This allows access to important HVAC systems in commercial buildings.  

Baffles are more effective the closer they are in relation to each other, and ceiling installation allows for maximum surface area exposure. Some popular acoustic baffles from Arktura include SoundBar® and SoundAngle®. 

2. Abstract Lines and Patterns

“Medical Mutual” Cleveland, OH, Bialosky Partners, Featuring: SoftGrid® Switch

While Arktura’s acoustic baffles provide great sound attenuation, thanks to our proprietary Soft Sound® material, there are more decorative options that are just as functional. The crisscrossing baffles of SoftGrid® Switch, seen above, offer acoustic comfort and visual interest through its dynamic intersecting shape and bold, two-tone Duo finish.  

These performative options from Arktura, including SoftGrid® Switch and Atmosphera® go past function to bring a decorative element to what is often referred to as the fifth wall.

3. Connection to the Natural and Organic

“Adobe – 100 Hooper” San Francisco, CA, Gensler. Featuring: Atmosphera® Analog Adaptive 3D

Create a peaceful and serene environment for everyone by connecting your interior to the natural world. Inspired by biophilic elements, the undulating waves above featured in Atmosphera® Analog Adaptive 3D and the rest of the Atmosphera line bring dynamic movement along with commercial acoustic attenuation 

4. Continuous Field of Facets

“Neustar” Reston, VA, HKS (Architects) Featuring: TriSoft® by Arktura

Larger spaces such as lobbies, cafeterias, dining halls, or assembly halls, may be too much to cover with standard vertical baffles. There is a more effective option in acoustic ceiling cloud systems. These are made of the same sound diffusing material as baffles but offer a larger surface area as these are mounted horizontally over a space.  

Larger in size, they can easily cover an expansive area, and are offered in a wide range of designs including these geometric shaped clouds like the TriSoft® seen above. These triangular modules can be installed in tandem to create sprawling geometric coverage.  

With more surface area facing down they can absorb unparalleled amounts of excess sound. This option along with SoftGrid® Deca feature design flexibility and visual interest.  

5. Award Winning Sound Star Acoustical Ceiling Cloud 

“Ruth Harley Center” Garden City, NY, Lori Kupfer Architect, Featuring: SoundStar® by Arktura

If you have a large space in need of sound attenuation, then covering the entire ceiling scape can be a cost prohibitive measure. Sometimes acoustic support is not necessarily needed everywhere, but only in specific concentrated areas such as above conference tables, office desks, and social gathering areas.  

In this case, having a cluster of acoustic ceiling cloud modules strategically placed above these areas is all you need to provide superior sound control without breaking the bank.  

SoundStar®, seen above, provides modular control for your next project.  

6. Linear Coffered Grid System

“Modern Office with Coffered Looking Ceiling” Featuring: SoftSpan® 24 by Arktura

Recreate the look of a timber trellis or coffered ceiling grid at a fraction of the cost of traditional millwork with the trellis-like acoustic system of Arktura’s SoftSpan®. The Soft Sound® material of the baffles is offered in a premium wood texture, to give off the look of a more traditional wooden ceiling without the weight and budget impact of using real lumber.  SoftSpan® can also pair with Arktura’s SoundBar® for maximizing intent with pre-configured systems that are able to interconnect with each other due to uniform attachment methods across lines of SoftSpan®, SoundBar®, and SoundBar® with Down/Up lighting.  

Accent these panels with optional accessories including Soft Sound® coffer panels and infill lighting to elevate your design.  

From Ceilings to Walls and More…. 

“Natural Patterning” Vapor® Bloom by Arktura

These perforated aluminum panels, like Vapor® Bloom above, can transition from ceiling to wall seamlessly for an attractive and unique look. Able to scale easily covering an entire ceiling with a unique design that will have people talking without all the excess noise with the addition of optional Soft Sound® acoustic backers.

Contact our team today to learn more about our various ceiling system options to get inspired today!   

VaporSoft - Cora, White with Heather Grey Soft Sound® Backer Wall, Backlit Ceiling, Closeup
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