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Exposed-concrete look with a harmonious sound


A low-impedance acoustic ceiling with the high-impedance appearance of exposed concrete was used in a sports bar in Miltenberg, Lower Franconia. The client thus employed an exciting mix of natural stone, plaster and wood as well as the absorbing surfaces of the upholstery and the ceiling.

“Full and loud is better than quiet and empty,” says landlord Christopher Kunz, summarising his view of the acoustics in his bar. But even he knows that the sound level cannot exceed a certain volume if guests wish to relax and talk, even in a bar focused on sport and music events.

When the operator of “The Saigon Deli” in Miltenberg got the chance to acquire an additional bar building in the same town, it was clear right from the start that the acoustics in the future Red Rock Music & Sports Lounge had to be paid particular attention. But they weren’t the only focus! “I have a penchant for the contrast between old and new, which I wanted to make evident in the bar,” explains Christopher Kunz. “The historical aspect was present in the external red sandstone façade dating from 1890 and in several areas of visible masonry internally. We added to these with a parquet floor made from waxed oak that fits in well with the building. The ceiling, furnishings and accessories, for instance the bar lamps, were the focus for the modern style element.”

Designer ceilings in the showroom

As the ceiling and the upholstered seating are the key elements when it comes to the sound level and audibility in the bar’s rooms, the landlord turned to the acoustic ceiling specialist OWA. As it is just a stone’s throw from Miltenberg to the company’s headquarters in Amorbach, it made particular sense to visit the showroom to see the diversity of the OWAconsult® collection ceilings in person. Through this design-oriented collection, back in 2011 OWA began to rethink acoustic ceilings with a view to ensuring
fresh and exciting interior architecture. One product of this innovation offensive is Opus – a mineral wool ceiling tile in an exposed-concrete look. In OWAcoustic® premium Opus, the team of designers succeeded in uniting two apparent opposites: the appearance of cool concrete with its high-impedance values is combined with the warm, low-impedance surface of a modern acoustic ceiling. With their αW sound absorption of 70%, the ceiling tiles ensure a pleasing level of audibility and reduce irritating acoustic reflections.

Omnipresent idea of the rectangle

Christopher Kunz deliberately selected Opus tiles for the Red Rock in the large, rectangular format of 1,250 × 625 mm, which were installed in all of the bar’s rooms as well as in the corridors and sanitary facilities by Peter Becker GmbH from Miltenberg using the OWAcoustic® premium S 19 Teccor ceiling system. The elongated tiles support the optical impression of one unified area of exposed concrete and are structured using only subtle concealed joints. Nevertheless, they are in the main removable and thus enable access to the ceiling void for installation work. Designer light fittings suspended below the ceiling catch the eye in the ceiling area of the bar’s rooms, while their counterparts on the walls feature special light sculptures.

The motif of the elongated format was also employed by Christopher Kunz when selecting wall tiles: “I didn’t want square run-of-the-mill tiles in the corridor, kitchen and toilets. So we chose 30 x 60 mm tiles that make a special impact when lit with their brown, metallic surface.” Additional details, such as the tile frieze in the corridor and the use of stainless steel edging for the tiles, reveal the considerable dedication shown to even small design elements in the bar.

This also applies to the kitchen, where visible cleanliness and hygiene were key to the design. For that reason, the tiles here are white but have the same format as those used in the other rooms. For the ceiling, the client decided on metal tiles from the OWAtecta® system S22 in an unperforated configuration. The focus here was less on the acoustics and more on ensuring that the galvanised steel sheet coated in white can be cleaned easily. If required, the tiles can be folded down to gain access to the ceiling void.

Leaving the bar without a headache
Renovation work on the Red Rock began in January 2014 and it opened in June, just in time for the World Cup. Since then, the bar has screened football matches and also hosted various private events as well as music featuring live bands and DJs. Consequently, it has been jam-packed and extremely loud on several occasions.

However, Christopher Kunz believes that the ceiling has proven its worth both then and in normal operations. Thanks to its sound absorption, it improves the acoustics in the room significantly in combination with the similarly low-impedance surfaces of the seats, whose backs were in some cases deliberately extended upwards. Irritating sound reflection and distortions are reduced, lowering the noise level in the room overall. Guests will scarcely be aware of this – or perhaps only as a result of the absence of headaches after a long spell in the busy bar.

Construction site sign
Renovation of an old inn building from 1890 into the Red Rock Music & Sports Lounge

Client: Christopher Kunz

Ceiling installation: Peter Becker GmbH, Miltenberg

Acoustic ceilings: 125 m² OWAcoustic® premium Opus in a concrete look with OWAcoustic® premium
S 19 Teccor; in the kitchen 38 m² OWAtecta® system S 22 (unperforated)

Completion: June 2014

RED ROCK 211.4 M
Odenwald Faserplattenwerk GmbH Odenwald Faserplattenwerk GmbH

Dr.-F.-A.-Freundt-Straße 3
63916 Amorbach | Germany
phone +49 93 73.2 01 - 0
fax +49 93 73.2 01 - 1 30
Email: info(at)owa(dot)de