GKD Golden acoustics for the "King of England"
Listed building in Stuttgart with acoustic ceiling made of anodised aluminium mesh.
Stuttgart’s first “coffee house” was opened right in the heart of the city in 1712. Several years later, the building then became one of the city’s most noble inns, the ‘King of England’. Following its destruction during the Second World War, at the start of 1950s the architect Karl Gonser then designed an administrative building, whose name has remained popular ever since. In 2010, the zsp architects office in Stuttgart was commissioned with renovating the building, which today enjoys protection as a listed building. The primary objective during the renovation work was to ensure that the character of the building, which is typical of its time, remained intact, while also creating modern conditions for its new use by a ministry. A golden anodised acoustic ceiling, made of aluminium mesh supplied by GKD – Gebr. Kufferath AG, ensures optimum room acoustics in the conference rooms on the top floor of the building.
The architects faced many challenges in the course of renovating the administration building steeped in history which is located at Stuttgart’s ‘Schillerplatz’ square. The historic building design with steel composite windows and natural stone facade had to be renovated in a way that preserved its historical character, but also upgraded to cater to modern power requirements. Inside, the individual floors were converted for use by a state ministry, while the top floor layout, which originally contained apartments, was altered to create meeting and conference rooms. The primary challenge in these long and narrow rooms with sloping ceilings lay in finding a ceiling construction offering optimised acoustic effect. The architects were looking for a grid-free ceiling that could be installed without any visible seams or joints. They ultimately chose GKD ALU 6010 mesh, which was anodised in gold in keeping with the building’s “royal history”. The laminated mesh, which sits on an aluminium honeycomb plate, has an intermediate layer of acoustic fleece. The overall design thereby effectively combines excellent dimensional stability with visual lightness and acoustic effects. L-shaped brackets and a substructure with clamped mountings was used to attach the 345 x 125 cm mesh panels seamlessly to the ceiling, and have been providing acoustics fit for a king in the Stuttgart ministry building ever since.