Ceiling Topographies: 6 Customizable Ceiling Products

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

The ceiling has progressed from a simple surface above one’s head to an opportunity to create a dramatic backdrop or even focal point thanks to a slew of products and materials that are highly adaptable or modular — as well as the vision of the architect or interior designer, of course. (Or, in the case of the Guggenheim installation, the vision of the artist.) We look at six customizable products waiting to be manipulated for your next ceiling design.


Pyrok’s StarSilent

Pyrok: StarSilent
An eco-friendly wall and ceiling system, StarSilent comes in the form of panels composed of 96-percent post-consumer recycled, crushed glass bottles and finished with sound-permeable plaster (the latter of which contains 50-percent recycled marble aggregate). Rigid metal framing and zinc-coated screws hold the panels in place, while an adhesive connects the various panel edges. After light sanding, plaster base and finish coats are applied to create a seamless, sound-absorbing surface. This system doesn’t require gypsum board substrates for structural integrity.


James Turrell’s installation at the Guggenheim utilized Newmat.

Newmat: Custom Stretch Ceilings
Artist James Turrell, best known for site-specific installations playing with light and space, re-sculpted the rotunda of New York City’s Guggenheim Museum with concentric tiers of white fabric over scaffolding. To pull this off, he used 13,500 square feet of Newmat’s white micro-perforated membranes with built-in black micro-perforated blackout membranes.


BASWAphon plaster was applied in the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health by Gehry Partners. Photo: Matthew Carbone.

BASWA Acoustic: BASWAphon Sound Absorbing Plaster
The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas is a Frank Gehry project defined by a complex, fluid roofline and façade. The intricate design, full of window openings and curving forms, is coated on the interior with BASWA’s sound-absorbing plaster so as to not disrupt the architect’s vision. Depending on application and project parameters, the plaster can achieve an NRC rating between 0.60 and 0.90. Three thicknesses — 30, 50, and 70 millimeter — and a wide range of colors are available.


HOK specified Hunter Douglas Contract’s High Profile Series baffles for the Avery Dennison headquarters.

Hunter Douglas Contract: High Profile Series – Horizontally Curved Baffles
HOK fashioned a striking ceiling using these baffles at the corporate headquarters of Avery Dennison in Glendale, Calif. Clay Pendergrast, director of interior design for HOK’s Los Angeles office explains it best: “The series provides the rhythm and transparency of a conventional straight baffle ceiling, but the curved profiles add an unexpected organic, fluid texture. The varying spaces between the baffles inconspicuously accommodate the code-required fire sprinklers, and the struts can be better camouflaged than in straight baffle ceilings.”


Haver and Boecker OHG offers ceiling options which incorporate its stainless steel Architectural Mesh product.

Haver and Boecker OHG: Suspense Ceiling System
Wire-weaving virtuoso Haver and Boecker sculpts undulating or arced ceilings using its Haver Architectural Mesh within a suspension grid. The pre-finished stainless steel mesh is also suitable for walls, façades, balustrades, solar-control screens, and media facades. A wide variety of weave patterns and range of openness levels are available.


STK Midtown, by ICRAVE, features an undulating ceiling structure by Formglas.

Formglas: Custom Ceilings
A visually engaging ceiling system inside New York City restaurant STK Midtown energizes the interior. Local design firm ICRAVE echoed the curves of the building that houses the venue (the iconic Grace Building) using Formglas glass fiber reinforced gypsum (GFRG) and BASWA acoustical plaster. Formglas also fabricated the stunning molded ceiling of the SOM-designed Terminal 2 at Mumbai International Airport (also shown at top).


Mumbai International Airport’s ceilings were molded by Formglas. Photos: GVK, Robert Polidori, Siddhesh Savant Photography, and Sandeep Savant Photography.

© Wojciech Krynski

Ericpol Software Pool // HORIZONE STUDIO

Łódź, Poland

© Ralph Feiner

Extension – Kreuzbühl School // Fischer Architekten AG

Zurich, Switzerland

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