When French climbing gear manufacturer Petzl Company built its new North American headquarters outside Salt Lake City, it wanted the interior of the building to reflect who it is and what it does. Jill Jones of AJC Architects says, “They design equipment for people who work in vertical spaces, such as climbers, cavers, window washers, and tree trimmers. And they wanted the interior of the building to reflect this verticality theme.”
Nowhere is that theme more evident than in the lobby, a signature space that houses a glass-enclosed training center with a 60-foot climbing wall. “We created a canyon-like space that has height to it,” says Jones of the 80,000 square foot lobby. “The ceilings and walls are angled on a horizontal and vertical plane. They kind of fold in and out to create these canyon spaces.”
The material the design team chose for the ceilings and walls needed to reinforce the visual height of the space, while adding color, warmth, and texture to the cavernous interior. Some acoustical control was needed as well.
The design team was able to meet all these criteria with WOODWORKS Grille panels in a Maple color from Armstrong Ceiling Solutions. The wood ceiling panels are 2' x 4' with 12 vertical 1 ½" x ½" wood slats. The wall panels are 1' by 8' with six horizontal 1 3/8" x 5/8" slats per foot. The ceiling panels are backed with an acoustical infill to help control noise. “This was a great way to provide some acoustical benefit to the space,” says Jones, “and the wood slats really give it a nice architectural feature.”
The design team was pleased with the result, noting that the wood grille adds color and texture to the space and emphasizes the verticality theme that inspired the design. “The wood is so directional, it adds to the verticality,” says Jones, “and the small scale of the individual slats helps reduce the space down to a more comfortable scale visually.”