Knauf AMF has installed around 2,000 sq. metres of acoustic tiles in the listed headquarters of Berlin Sparkasse, located on Alexanderplatz. This also includes ceiling tiles from the new soft board product brand, AMF Topiq. The latest product from the acoustic specialist Knauf AMF is particularly impressive thanks its very high sound absorption level, as well as its simple design, which perfectly suits the classical modernity of the building.
The headquarters of the Berlin Sparkasse, formerly Landesbank Berlin, are located in the Alexanderhaus, which was designed in 1929 by Peter Behrens, a well-known German architect and pioneer of industrial design. The listed eight-storey building was constructed as a modern reinforced-concrete skeleton structure. After the fall of the Wall, the Alexanderhaus was restored by Landesbank Berlin for more than 300 million German marks between 1993 and 1995, in accordance with plans designed by the Pysall, Stahrenberg & Partner architecture firm. It is now the headquarters of Berlin Sparkasse.
As part of comprehensive tenant improvements across three floors, including full structural restoration, the acoustics also needed to be improved. The former ceilings no longer met the latest acoustic standard.
Acoustics and visuals go hand in hand
Knauf AMF was initially awarded a contract to provide a technical consultation. To convert the entrance area, the corridors and two conference rooms, new ceiling solutions needed to be found that on the one hand, delivered perfect acoustics in the spaces involved, and on the other, fitted in with the classical modernity of the building.
Sound almost completely silenced
Due to the outstanding Class A level of sound absorption with an absorption coefficient of 0.95, the client opted for 625 x 625 x 15 mm ceiling tiles from the soft board brand AMF Topiq for the entrance area and conference rooms. The high performance absorber impressed not only thanks to its acoustic effectiveness, but also because of the simple elegance of its design, which was required for the space.
“Particularly in areas where people meet to talk, a high absorption level is important for the well-being of the users, as it shortens reverberation times, reduces noise levels and increases comprehensibility of speech. The fleece coating of the soft board contributes to the excellent absorption level of Topiq products”, explained Martin Bierhoff, Key Account Manager, Northern Sales based in Berlin at Knauf AMF.
Almost a perfect 10 in design and execution
The technology used by the AMF Topiq product brand is based on fleece-lined rock mineral wool tiles with a coating on all sides to meet a wide range of design requirements. As standard, the finish consists of a fleece coating on both sides with the face and edge areas additionally provided with a high quality colour coating. From a technical perspective, the soft board tile products impress mainly due to their low surface weight, straightforward handling, excellent humidity resistance and also the first-rate sound absorption.
From a visual perspective, the soft boards are impressive because they fit seamlessly with the simple, classical architecture of the listed building. Further benefits include the straightforward handling, low product thickness and suspension height.
Perfect for corridors: AMF Thermatex ceiling tiles
A total of 400 sq. metres of AMF Thermatex Fine Stratos micro-perforated ceiling tiles, measuring 2500 x 300 x 15 mm, were installed in the corridors of the Berliner Sparkasse headquarters across three floors.
The use of a second material can be easily explained as the focus was placed on a different design in the corridors. The AMF Thermatex Fine Stratos ceiling tiles are also known for their outstanding physical properties, which made them the perfect fit for the offices that had Topiq soft boards installed in them. The finely sanded surfaces of the Thermatex acoustic tiles resulted in the harmonised, well-proportioned appearance of the ceiling, which inspired the architects of the corridors. It was the linear tile format with a hidden extractable edge in particular which transformed the Thermatex Fine Stratos ceiling tiles into a high-quality feature in the classically designed corridor ceiling.
AMF Topiq enjoys successful European début
The project took a total of six weeks and as planned, all areas were finished within the deadline, meaning AMF Topiq experienced a baptism of fire with its first successful major European project. Additional new contracts for soft board tiles are in the pipeline and interest continues to grow.
“Thanks to Topiq, we are continuing to build on our established level of expertise as an innovative ceiling manufacturer. At the same time, we are strengthening our application-oriented approach,” said Matthias Francke, Director of Business Development at AMF Topiq. With the market launch of the new soft board product brand, the acoustic specialists from Grafenau are taking a further step towards becoming an integrated system solution provider for modular ceilings.