Variable acoustic curtains for the library of the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne

Umkirch, 26. May 2020
Sound Curtain OFFICE, as well as straight and curved TRUMPF 95 OFFICE track systems, are used in the design as an homage to the famous exhibition booth “Velvet & Silk Café” - from The 1920s

The white acoustic curtains in the library of the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration in Cologne are designed to be reminiscent of the world-famous 1927 exhibition booth "Velvet & Silk Café". It was designed by Lilly Reich and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as the German silk industry booth for the "Fashion for Women" trade show. The concept was based on using fabric panels as a space-defining element. 

The "Velvet & Silk Café" was divided into a café and individual bays for the presentation of velvet, silk, and other fabrics. In the Cologne library, this aspect inspired the architects Andreas Schüring Architekten to reach out to Gerriets for help with the sound-absorbing acoustic curtains. Gerriets’ multi-layered, Innovation Architecture + Office Award-winning sound curtain OFFICE divide the library into open learning areas as well as rest zones and group workstations. The outer layers of the acoustic curtains are made from the SATIN CS fabric in signal white.

Characteristic of the legendary trade show booth from the 1920s is the interplay of the straight and curved steel tubes to which the fabrics were attached. This important aspect was realized in the library with the help of Gerriets' versatile TRUMPF 95 OFFICE track system.