Vitol, an energy and commodities company specializing in physical trading, logistics and distribution, required a new Houston office that would allow the company’s 250 traders and support staff to work together on one trading room floor. The new double-height space posed significant lighting and acoustic challenges. To tackle and overcome these challenges, PDR collaborated with Arktura to design and fabricate a custom faceted ceiling system consisting of 228 panels that reflect light and maximize acoustical performance.
The custom faceted ceiling panels are covered with Arktura’s Soft Sound® acoustical material, utilizing formed FR plastic and steel substructure for ease of install. Soft Sound® is made from PET with a minimum of 60% recycled content and is available in Class A or C per ESTM-E84 requirements with an NRC rating of up to 0.75. This custom design achieves an even higher NRC, which provides a comfortable acoustic experience from every seat, despite Vitol's busy trade floor program.
The sculptural ceiling system’s angled face panels also work together with the lighting integrated into the columns and mezzanine floor plate to reflect and distribute light without an obvious source. This lighting interaction gives the space volume and a textured complexity through shadow play.
Developing the ceiling system with the PDR design team, while integrating it into the design intent of other aspects of the Vitol space, made the project a highly creative and enjoyable experience. From inception to completion, the collaborative process resulted in a ceiling system that serves as a central design element, tying the space together, and transforming it into a distinctive, elegant and synergetic work environment.