Beyond Plain White: Possibilities of Sculptural Suspended Ceilings

Ceilings are essential elements in architecture and interior design. They combine functionality with aesthetic features like colors, textures, materials, and other details. Unique ceilings, which can provide quality and comfort, can make a significant visual impact and define a building’s character and tone. Although the “fifth wall”, or the room’s design element, is crucial, it is often not highlighted in architectural projects. Decor, wallpaper and other elements that create an interior atmosphere are more important. The ceiling offers many creative possibilities that go beyond the traditional white color that dominates most interior spaces.

Aluminum chains have many different qualities

In this context, Montblanc-based Kriskadecor has created a variety of ceiling projects using anodized aluminum links. This is in response to a growing demand for metallic chains in architectural design. Aluminum chains can be used in many forms, including space dividers as well as wallcoverings and facades. However, they stand out when suspended in the air. This reduces the distance between ceiling and ground, which offers comfort and unlimited design possibilities.

Aldgate Tower / Basha-Franklin. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor
Aldgate Tower / Basha-Franklin. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor
Sorli Emocions Shopping Centre / DYD Interiorisme. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor

The material is lightweight and timeless. It is also 100% recyclable. This is a great choice for projects that are concerned with sustainability, particularly in an environment where there is a growing demand for eco-friendly products. The rails can also be custom-curved to create flowing structures that are easy to install without the need for specialized personnel. Functionally, the chains can be used to wrap around light points and play with transparency to create light- and shadow-effects.

Isrotel Royal Beach / Klein Associates KG. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor
Isrotel Royal Beach / Klein Associates KG. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor
Stora Hotellet / Stylt Trampoli. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor

Same material, different design solutions

These qualities are important, but architects should also consider the material’s ability to adapt to various situations and needs. This allows them to create unique spaces and meet their users’ requirements. Kriskadecor’s aluminum chain can be customized in size, shape and color. They can reproduce images and patterns with in-house technology using a range of 24 colors. The material’s versatility and flexibility are what make it stand out. It can be used to create ceilings with simple shapes or suspended sculptures in the air. This allows the material to adapt to the changing trends in interior design.

Westquay Southampton / MTRDC. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor
Westquay Southampton / MTRDC. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor
Novotel Route Des Grands Crus / Design Studio. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor

The product’s ability to adapt to different environments and scales means it can be used in a variety of settings, including hotels, restaurants and corporate offices as well as shopping malls and shopping centers. Ceilings have been decorated with personalized chains all over the globe. Kengo Kuma’s intervention in Gaudi’s Casa Batllo is an example. It includes layers of chains that have a sculptural shape and cascade from the ceiling to basement. The material provides movement, volume and acoustic comfort in the indoor space. It also absorbs different colors of light through the skylight, creating a color gradient.

Casa Batlló, Gaudí / Kengo Kuma & Associates. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor

The Westfield Mall of the Netherlands is another example. It houses 235 km of chain shops in 3,020 square meters of ceiling. This is the equivalent of the entire Dutch territory. The building was made up of many blocks that had different identities. MVSA architects were commissioned to redevelop it. One of the challenges was to combine the old and the new in a cohesive way. The Dining Plaza ceiling design was created following this objective. It features sinuous shapes in brown, and satin gold. This is still Kriskadecor’s largest project.

Westfield Mall of the Netherlands / MVSA Architects. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor

The chain panels create curved shapes that mimic the movement of air and wrap around various leisure and restaurant venues, enhancing and defining them. They also provide a warm, comfortable and pleasing environment for visitors. Thijs van der Straat, MVSA Architects, says that they allow for the high and low ceilings to be unified. This makes the design more cohesive. The small chain link can be used to create infinite chains, allowing you to define locations and transform the space.

Westfield Mall of the Netherlands / MVSA Architects. Image Courtesy of Kriskadecor

Ceilings are often overlooked because they offer many possibilities for functional and creative designs that can be adapted to different needs. This simple, recyclable product can create attractive spaces and is customizable, light, versatile, and durable. It’s an innovative solution to the ongoing search for materials that will replace plain ceilings.