Acoustic design has long been considered an important part of architecture. Over time, designers, architects and building owners have tried a variety of methods and materials to help control echoes and sound in both residential and commercial spaces.
The earliest efforts involved dropped ceiling panels that were typically made of asbestos, cellulose and other materials designed to help dampen sound. They were cost-effective and highly efficient at helping to control noise.
Today’s acoustic materials, however, blend form and function to create spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and acoustically comfortable.
What Is PET Felt?
“U of A” Phoenix, AZ, CO Architects, Taube Photography, Featuring: SoftFold® by Arktura
Polyethylene terephthalate, better known as PET felt, is a unique material. Strong and sturdy, it is better at controlling acoustics than drop ceiling panels.
PET felt looks and feels like wool, but this innovative acoustic felt is made of recycled water and soda bottles and can contain anywhere from 50% to 100% post-recycled content. It’s formed into sheets that can be transformed into panels, tiles, light fixtures and even furniture, all of which do a superior job of absorbing sound and controlling the acoustics in a room or building.
PET acoustic felt is highly durable and is easy to clean and maintain. It doesn’t contain organic material, so it won’t begin to degrade or crumble with time, and you can use it in a wide variety of settings without worrying about maintenance or care. It can be found in an incredible range of colors, as well as shapes and designs that help it fit in well with nearly any setting.
At the end of its lifespan, it’s also fully recyclable, making it an excellent green choice for today’s eco-conscious companies.
Why Use PET Felt?
Every building and space is unique, and so are their acoustic needs. One room may have high ceilings that need better acoustic control throughout, while another space may need acoustic performance targeted to certain areas to better facilitate study, work or conversation.
Every space also has its own design needs in terms of color, pattern and style, which means that acoustic felt panels can’t be a one-size-fits-all product. It should be customizable so that it can meet the unique and individual needs of each space. That’s what makes PET felt so attractive — it can be formed, shaped, folded and colorized to match the needs of every space it’s installed in.
Arktura Soft Sound® acoustic felt is used to manufacture acoustic ceiling panels and baffles, wall tiles and backing for our perforated metal panels. This product is a unique design element in its own right.
23 Designs With PET Felt
This highly innovative and versatile material can be used in many ways. Take a look at these stunning design ideas to see how PET could complement your office or commercial decor.
1. Suspended Panels
“M.C. Dean” Tyson, VA, Perkins+Will, Halkin Mason Photography, Featuring: SoundEdge® by Arktura
This conference room has a highly contemporary design with a slight industrial edge, making the SoundEdge® suspended acoustic panels the perfect fit for the space. The panels are alternated with hanging lights, with the color and texture of the panels blending perfectly with the rest of the room’s design, positioned right where the room has the biggest acoustic need.
2. Pops of Color
“West Monroe Partners” Chicago, Illinois, Garnett Architects – CH, Robert Buyle Photography, Featuring: SoundEdge® by Arktura
This space needed a more consistent acoustic control across the room. Rather than sticking with one color and shape, the panels were broken into two sizes with the smaller panels showing off a bright, bold yellow that compliments the wall in the adjacent room. This helps brighten the design and the space, while simultaneously providing the perfect amount of sound control.
3. Dynamic Acoustic Control
“Vitol” Houston TX, PDR, Featuring: Solutions Studio® by Arktura
A far cry from the drop ceiling panels of the past, these faceted acoustic felt ceiling baffles are the definition of innovation in the acoustic space. In this custom Solutions Studio® design, these grey ceiling baffles span the room, and were so impressive, they helped Vitol Houston be named an Architizer 2017 A+ Awards Finalist.
4. Moody Blues
“Engility” Springfield, VA, Form Architects, Spielmann Studio Photography, Featuring: SoundEdge® by Arktura
This office needed acoustic control throughout the space, so clusters of deep blue suspended panels are mixed with a soft gray that matches the color of the flooring. Together, the colors help create a dynamic ceiling appearance for the room while also providing superior sound control.
5. Sleek and Subtle
“FEC Trammel Crow” Washington, DC, Smith Group, Hoachlander Davis Photography, LLC, Featuring: SoundEdge® by Arktura
This space features clean, crisp lines and sleek surfaces. The SoundEdge® acoustic panels suspended from the ceiling align with the style in a subtle way, and they help ensure that anyone using the space will be able to carry on conversations easily, no matter how busy it gets.
6. Sculptural Ceiling
“71 Above” Los Angeles, CA, Tag Front, Featuring: SoundStar® by Arktura
A benefit of using PET felt is its ability to be bent, sculpted and pieced together in so many ways. This area utilizes SoundStar® ceiling panels from Arktura in a neutral gray that matches the furniture, to create unique three-dimensional stars that help capture and absorb sound while creating a stunning and sculptural ceiling display.
7. Smooth Transitions
“Vrbo” Austin, TX, Rios Clementi Hale Studios – DT, Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography, Featuring: Solutions Studio® by Arktura
These customized baffle wall and ceiling solutions curve around corners and transition smoothly across the walls and ceiling. Combining acoustic felt wall panels with ceiling panels controls noise throughout the busy work environment.
8. Suspended Stars
“One Medical Lobby” Chicago, IL, Callison RTKL, Featuring: SoundStar® by Arktura
For open spaces and buildings with high ceilings, sound control is even more important. Dropping a traditional ceiling only takes away from the height and style of the building, but by suspending sculptural panels instead, you can help absorb sound while enhancing and complementing the height of the space rather than undermining it.
9. Switch It Up
“MMO” Cleveland, OH, Bialosky Partners, Christian Phillips (Photographer) Featuring: SoftGrid® Switch by Arktura
The intricate web created by SoftGrid® Switch’s felt acoustic panels adds excitement and movement to the space even as it enhances acoustic support. For larger jobs, our SoftGrid® Max options let you maximize value and minimize the impact on the environment — a win-win.
10. Conversation Areas
“Optiv” Denver, CO, IA Interior Architects, James Florio (Photographer) Featuring: SoundStar® by Arktura
Commercial buildings and office spaces are often used for a variety of purposes at once, so they may feature wide-open spaces. This can make it difficult for people to sit and hold a quiet conversation when needed, particularly as more office spaces are adapting the open office concept to their design. By suspending felt acoustic panels just where you need them, you can create a quiet atmosphere without closing in the space.
11. Pastel Angles
“Open Cafe” Featuring: SoundAngle® by Arktura
If you want something a little more substantial than a thin panel, but don’t want a large three-dimensional sculpture on the ceiling, these V-shaped SoundAngle® felt acoustic panels are the perfect fit. They help absorb sound from multiple directions while providing a unique and stylish addition to the ceiling.
12. Multi-Level Dimension
“Contemporary Office” Featuring: SoftGrid® Round by Arktura
For a structural design, round baffles positioned at different levels create an acoustically controlled space with subtle dimensionality. SoftGrid® Round is a continuous series of rings that can be connected together, hung at different heights, span the entire ceiling or focus on a targeted area. The color options are wide-ranging, but in this case, white is the perfect choice for a neutral, unobtrusive design.
13. Subtle Stripes
“Madison Marquette” Washington, DC, Perkins+Will, Featuring: SoundAngle® by Arktura
Industrial spaces have a lot of character and appeal. They also need acoustic control. These SoundAngle® panels blend in perfectly with the industrial style ceiling without detracting from its appearance. They offer perfect sound control for the people using the space, making it the ideal spot for studying, working or relaxing.
14. Wood-Inspired Trellis
“Mid-Century Modern Hall”, Featuring: SoftSpan 48® by Arktura
To bring in an element of nature and nod to outdoor garden trellises, these SoftSpan® 48 grids are wrapped in wood-textured Soft Sound® PET felt and suspended from the ceiling. The biophilic element of these panels complements the greenery included in the design.
15. Industrial Complement
“Open Office” Featuring: SoundAngle® by Arktura
Industrial spaces with prominent ductwork as part of the design have a unique visual appeal. These SoundAngle® panels help add some acoustic control, without covering up the ducts or taking away from their appearance. Instead, they complement the style effortlessly, enhancing the industrial appearance of the room.
“Neustar” Reston, VA, HKS Architects, Garrett Rowland Photography, Featuring: TriSoft® by Arktura
PET felt can also be layered to create unique patterns and three-dimensional ceiling structures. This area features a triangular geometric and playful design that covers the entire ceiling, offering superior acoustics and a design element to the room at the same time.
17. Space-Age Style
“Office Lounge” Featuring SoftGrid® Orbit by Arktura
SoftGrid® Orbit creates a space-age style in its honeycomb acoustic ceiling modules. These modules can connect together to span an entire room or create targeted acoustic support where it is needed most. The intricate pattern of panels included in each module is a space for light to play in, creating added depth within the room.
18. Dual Areas
“Advanced Clinic” Chicago, IL, Box Studios – CH, Featuring: SoftGrid® Flux by Arktura
One of the nice things about this style of ceiling panel is the ability to use it right where you need it. This building has two types of ceilings — one standard drop ceiling above the kitchen ceiling and one acoustic SoftGrid® ceiling over the seating areas — offering the visual appeal and sound control it needs in the loudest area of the room. The wood texture of the Flux panels adds an extra layer of elegance to the functionality of the ceiling design.
19. Folded Patterns
“Minotti Showroom” Atlanta, GA, Featuring: SoftFold® by Arktura
Get a contemporary look with PET felt that’s been folded into repeating patterns and designs. SoftFold® PET acoustic felt ceiling panels help soften the look of this contemporary room while complementing its strong lines and angles — and while offering sound control simultaneously.
20. Feel The Swell
“EmPower Health” Ewa Beach, HI, RMA Architecture, Olivier Koning Photography, Featuring: Atmosphera® Swell by Arktura
The gentle swelling wave pattern of Atmosphera® Swell lends excitement that is somehow both soothing and energizing. Just as the ocean’s rhythm ebbs and flows, so do these dramatic felt acoustic panels.
21. Blue Waves
“Nielson 675” New York, NY, The Switzer Group, Colin Miller Photography, Featuring: SoftFold® by Arktura
Create a subtle and brilliant backdrop for a room by adding some soft color to the ceiling. These SoftFold® panels are a rich blue color that creates the look of an ocean wave across the ceiling, adding a playful element to the room’s design and giving guests something to talk about while gathered together.
22. Open Weave
“Shoah Foundation” Los Angeles, CA, Belzberg Architects, Bruce Damonte (Photographer), Featuring: SoftFold® by Arktura
Busy spaces like this one need sound control to keep the area from getting overwhelmingly loud. However, with a low ceiling, the space would appear too closed-in. SoftFold® panels are the perfect solution — they offer a soft weave-like appearance that keeps the space from feeling too closed-in while adding much-needed acoustic control.
23. A Ceiling Cityscape
“Suny” Cobleskill, NY, Hamlin Design Group, Nicole McKasty-Stagg (Photographer) Featuring: SoftGrid® SkyLine by Arktura
Put the skyline on the ceiling with SoftGrid® SkyLine. Unlike the city, this skyline helps you avoid loud city noise and creates a dramatic look while controlling the room’s acoustics.
Make the Switch to PET Felt
By switching to PET felt for your acoustic designs, you open the doors to a wide range of possibilities in shape, color and style. You also get a durable, low-maintenance material that’s fully recyclable and green in construction. Make the switch to PET felt for your next project, and you will be amazed at the endless number of acoustic designs you can create.
For endless design possibilities, contact an expert at Arktura to discuss additional PET felt ceiling panel options.