The occasions of over-crowded, echoing offices are coming to end as office furniture manufacturers develop innovative acoustic architecture with integrated technology to greatly help create private and social meeting spaces within the open-plan office. So just how is this being achieved?
One of the most practical space defining solutions coming to the marketplace in 2011 could be the Meeting Pod. Offering unlimited potential uses, Meeting Pods provide a great way to produce, use space and improve privacy in a open-plan area, while giving offices the flexibleness to go screens around and section off individual areas. Affordable, in that they are mobile and can be setup anywhere within any office to make a quiet area, Meeting Pods can absorb sound to ensure total acoustic privacy and discretion. The price of a meeting pod is a once off cost and there is no continuous monthly rent, so renting more floor space will be a more costly option if you don’t have the budget. Screen pods are modular and can be added to if you ever want to improve its size in the future. Acoustic Sound Panels
In 1987, the urban sociologist, Ray Oldenburg, stated that, if the first place was home and the 2nd place was work, then third places are areas which will be social and community orientated. It has been this in your mind that the Hive Acoustic Sofa by Roger Webb Associates has been designed. A modular sofa with integrated technology, the Hive Sofa is among several high-backed sofas coming to the marketplace that aims to make a third space within any office environment. Those utilizing a highback sofa end up in a secluded place, unable to be heard or seen from the outside. The acoustic qualities of those office sofas work to make a peaceful oasis for workers and, by pushing two high-backed sofas together, a ‘room-within-a-room’ effect can be achieved.
Nevertheless the development of acoustic architecture in the modern day office doesn’t stop at clever furniture. Today, open-plan offices may also take advantage of acoustic wall panels. Designed specifically to lessen echo and reverberation, but in addition used as decorative wall features in boardrooms, receptions, restaurants or homes, acoustic wall panels have now been called 3D wallpaper and can be found in a range of colours and designs. Après Furniture has complete some large installations of acoustic panelling for corporate receptions and also provides a unique sound absorbing decorative screen created from moulded fibre felt. Now that’s what we call in the 21st century.