Linden Hall Academy in Lititz, Pa., the oldest all-girls school in the U.S., wanted a more modern facility with high-performance classrooms and collabourative workspaces. Past renovations of the school, established in 1746, generally had been conservative. Now, partnering with architect Chambers & Associates, the school created a state-of-the-art institution for the 21st century. Acoustics, lighting and flexible design were essential to the architect’s plan.
A new line of acoustical fibreglass wall panels in the classrooms corrects poor sound reverberation that had made speech comprehension difficult. Most of the classrooms have drywall ceilings, so the fibreglass panels provide an excellent alternative solution for reducing unwanted noise without hanging an acoustical ceiling. Roughly 50 sound-absorbent panels were installed in Blueberry and Oyster to match the school’s traditional colours, creating both a useful and attractive design. The panels double as tack boards, serving as information centres. Complementing the wall panels, free-hanging acoustical fibreglass ceiling panels hang beneath an open plenum in the school’s hallways and open gathering spaces to set them apart from classrooms. The high sound absorption of the fibreglass panels heightens speech privacy, making it easier for students and instructors to converse. The free-hanging panels also add a modern element to the historic academy. The fibreglass panels made on-site fabrication simple, and an installer easily integrated lighting fixtures into the panels. The panels’ bright, monolithic finish adds high light reflectance and light diffusion--maximizing indirect as well as natural daylight.
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