Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2018, Hunter Douglas, Surface design, Van Oers Weijers Architecten BNA

Sustainable felt ceiling provides modular acoustic solution for workplace interiors

According to experts at the ongoing Cityscape Abu Dhabi, interior design innovation will drive the UAE’s $820bn construction pipeline, and transform visitor and resident experiences.

Buoyed by mega-projects such as Expo 2020 Dubai, and a steady stream of homes, offices, and mixed-use developments, a recent report by MEED shows that in addition to the UAE’s massive portfolio of projects, the wider Middle East and North Africa’s real estate projects under construction are worth $1.6tr, according to BMI Research.

Increasingly, Middle East projects are integrating interior design from the beginning of the project design, with innovations serving as a key differentiator for enhancing daily lives, says Hunter Douglas, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of window coverings and architectural products.

“Interior designers across the UAE and the Middle East are pioneering the approach of integrating innovations, such as felt ceilings, from the design phase to transform the lived experience inside buildings.

HeartFelt by Hunter Douglas is an innovative modular and linear felt ceiling system, which recently won a prestigious Red Dot Award, and is 100% recyclable and certified cradle-to-cradle.

The surface material was used by architecture firm, Van Oers Weijers Architecten BNA in their office design for Dutch confectionary company, Brand Masters.

“Sometimes the architect’s role is to take risks and contribute a new material or a new solution.,” said Jeroen Weijers, Architect of Van Oers Weijers Architecten BNA. “This sense of quality is expressed in the building materials we used, the finishing on the inside and the clean lines of the whole design.”

Weijers says that HeartFelt’s sustainable and acoustic qualities also played a role in the choice for this ceiling system. “We applied HeartFelt mostly in the representative spaces, where customers and prospective clients are received, for example. Good acoustics are important in those spaces,” added Jeroen Weijers.

There has been a surge in innovative surface and facade materials as manufacturers try to keep up with groundbreaking architectural concepts in the Middle East. Read designMENA’s report on the new range of energy-efficient facades presented during the ZAK World of Facades conference.