The new UCSD Telemedicine & Medical Education Building is a state-of-the-art training facility. As part of the center’s design, the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) team was looking to create both a warm ambiance and a good acoustical environment in the facility’s signature space – its 7,500-square-foot auditorium – as well as its computer learning center and cafe.
Nearly 28,000 square feet of WOODWORKS custom ceilings and custom walls in a Cherry finish from Armstrong were installed in the center’s auditorium and computer learning center. The majority of the panels are 2' x 5' in size, although 15 different sizes were part of the overall design.
All the panels incorporate a custom perforation for acoustical purposes. In areas where sound reflection is desired, the perforations only go half way through the panel. Where sound absorption is required, the perforations go all the way through and are backed with a black acoustical blanket.
SOM architect Tim Waters explains that the design team and client selected wood ceilings and walls for the auditorium to impart a feeling of warmth and intimacy. The ceiling is a sloped, stepped ceiling with five different elevations from front to back. The wall panels match the ceiling panels in size, finish, and perforation pattern.
In terms of aesthetics, he notes both the ceiling and wall panel joints are staggered to create a more interesting modular pattern. The rows of perforations, however, are in alignment, panel to panel.