Knauf Knauf

Bespoke office acoustics

Bespoke office acoustics

The Phoenixhof in the Ottensen district of Hamburg continues to grow. Following the completion of the distinctive new Landmark 7 office building, the neighbouring Phoenixkontor 1 (PK 1) complex will now be occupied. The buildings were both designed by hmarchitekten, who are also based in the former industrial area. The conception and realisation of the two attractive, new office buildings focused on acoustic solutions closely aligned to the requirements of the users.

Christina Heeckt, owner of hmarchitekten, explains: “We particularly like exposed concrete ceilings and we often work with thermal component activation in our new builds and use thermally activated soffits, so we have to make decisions together with the respective investor or client at an early stage with regards the areas that need to be fitted with suspended ceilings or ceiling rafts for acoustic reasons.”

In Landmark 7, smaller office units with two to six workplaces were implemented according to the wishes of the client and the tenants, while one open-plan office dominated in Phoenixkontor. hmarchitekten mainly used ceiling rafts as sound-absorbing acoustic elements in both buildings. A few rooms are equipped with perforated ceilings to reduce noise. In both buildings, single, sound-proof rooms are available on each floor for private phone calls and work processes.

Design and acoustics perfectly combined

The interior design of the offices is characterised by transparency and airiness. "From the very beginning, the client of Landmark 7 set the objective of ensuring good room acoustics for the office areas both in the smaller and larger units," reports Christina Heeckt. This was to be implemented in a uniform style for all floors - so the decision was made to use ceiling rafts as central acoustic elements. They could provide a very good combination of attractive design and sound absorption for pleasant room acoustics. In addition to the open plan office space, the floor plans of each floor include separate telephone rooms which are "soundproof" for private conversations and individual work. To ensure light and transparency on the floors, hmarchitekten chose a high-quality glass partition system. "This increased the proportion of reflective surfaces in the office spaces, but this is offset by the high absorption and number of ceiling rafts," explains Christina Heeckt.

Acoustic calculation as a starting point

For the system, the soft board ceiling raft - TOPIQ® Sonic element from Knauf AMF was chosen. The technology is based on fleece-laminated stone wool panels with face and edge coating. In Landmark 7, the ceiling rafts are coated white throughout - "as a contrast to the grey exposed concrete soffit above", says Christina Heeckt. Low weight, easy handling and excellent sound absorption are the main properties of the material, with which hmarchitekten have already had positive experiences elsewhere. The dimensions and positions of the ceiling rafts were determined according to the recommendations of the external acoustician and the calculations by Knauf AMF project consultant Volker Lumpe. A total of 78 TOPIQ® Sonic element (1200 x 1200 mm) and 110 TOPIQ® Sonic element (1800 x 1200 mm) rafts were used in Landmark 7. The dimensions were specified by hmarchitekten based on the calculations and were produced and delivered accordingly by Knauf AMF. Depending on the shape, area and floor plan, square and rectangular pairs of ceiling rafts are combined side by side in the offices. During installation, and with technical advice from Volker Lumpe, the specialist contractor had to adhere exactly to the intended drilling depths for the fixings so as not to damage the thermally activated soffit.

The results of the sound absorption and the effectiveness of the ceiling rafts did not only impress the architects. The tenants are also very satisfied with the design and working atmosphere in the Landmark 7 offices.

“Swedish” Interior Design

These experiences led to the use of TOPIQ® Sonic element ceiling rafts from Knauf AMF in the newest building on the Phoenixhof site, the Phoenixkontor 1 (PK 1). Here, however, the conditions were slightly different. The four-storey office and administration building has a total of approximately 5850 m² of rental space and 180 parking spaces in the building's own underground car park.

The structure of the property designed by hmarchitekten enables the implementation of all modern office space concepts, combining, as in Landmark 7, valuable interior and exterior spaces with roof terraces and balconies. Due to the early leasing of the PK 1 to a Swedish company, the interior work was largely carried out according to the latter's specifications. "The Swedes have a different understanding of space in terms of office architecture than we do in Germany," says Christina Heeckt following conversations with the Scandinavians. “Most of the space in PK 1 is therefore designed as open plan, that is, offices with some 120 m² of space and more.” The floor plan also includes communication islands (“coffee areas”) and, parallel to each open-plan office, several “telephone booths” - soundproof glass cabins with telephone and WLAN for individual use.

In PK 1, hmarchitekten again opted for the combination of thermally activated exposed concrete soffits and Knauf AMF ceiling rafts on cable hangers. 128 TOPIQ® Sonic element rafts in the dimensions 1200 x 1200 mm and 288 in 1800 x 1200 mm provide for pleasant room acoustics: "Ceiling rafts result in an incredibly good atmosphere in the rooms", Christina Heeckt impressed again in this project with the effectiveness of the elements.

Systems used from Knauf AMF:

  • TOPIQ® Sonic element
    …is a frameless acoustic ceiling raft. Equipped with TOPIQ® Strong Edge Technology as well as a face and edge fleece and colour coating, it meets the highest quality standards. The wide variety of shapes and colours enables countless ceiling designs and space for individual design ideas.

Building Info

  • Project: Landmark 7 und Phoenixkontor 1 (PK1)
  • Address: Schützenstraße 1-3 / 5, 22761 Hamburg
  • Client: 2. Immobilienfonds Wolfgang Essen KG, Hamburg
  • Architect: hmarchitekten, Hamburg
  • Contractor: Otto Gerber GmbH, Hamburg
  • Area: 2500 m² (Landmark 7); 5850 m² (PK 1)
  • Completed 2020 (PK1) and 2017
  • Photos: 1,8 ©AnkeMuellerklein / 2-7 ©Jan Haeselich

Read the interview with Christina Heeckt (owner hmarchitekten, Hamburg) on the topic: "Modern offices have to respond to the different needs of working"

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Stefan Lankl
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