Gerriets installs state-of-the-art translucent acoustic curtains at local preparatory school

Umkirch, 07. July 2017
Gerriets installed new curtain track and brand new ABSORBER LIGHT curtains in Dresdner Hall at the Clark Music Center at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey

The curtains cover eight windows in two different rooms. Both rooms are used as recital halls and choir rehearsal spaces so it is essential to control reverberation within the rooms. This made ABSORBER LIGHT curtains the perfect solution when they were looking for new semi-sheer curtains for the music halls. The ABSORBER LIGHT curtains, with their micro perforations within the weave, reduce reverberation time in the recital halls by up to 33 % while still allowing the afternoon sunlight into the rooms.

Keith Roeckle, Director of Instrumental Studies at the Lawrenceville School explained the value of the curtains to them: “The new curtains in Dresdner Hall have provided us with a unique situation not only do they perform a visually aesthetic function, they provide a means to change the room to the purpose.  Dresdner Hall is used for large group rehearsals, small group rehearsals, jazz ensemble performances, piano recitals, and other social functions.  The room is very live when the curtains are open, which is suitable for orchestral playing and piano performances. When the curtains are closed, the room becomes significantly less live, and gives a more intimate feeling, suitable for cabarets and other performances tailored to a smaller space. For our jazz performances and other events that use amplification, having the curtains closed provides a clearer, warmer sound that both the performers and audience members appreciate.  It's a wonderful application of the science and technology of acoustics!”

Opera singer Anna Saurman, who helped us test out the acoustics in the room, said of the curtains, “ABSORBER LIGHT allows you to hear what you are doing technically instead of having to play a guessing game with a distorted sound. This is fantastic for choral groups and other ensembles. Where hearing each other is extremely important, and in a live room where the sound is muddled or delayed you have to almost ignore your ear and focus on the director solely, these curtains make all the difference.”

Gerriets’ ABSORBER LIGHT fabric was developed specifically to reduce sound in a space while allowing natural light through. Glass has been a thorn in the side of many an acoustician. A properly insulated window may block sound from outside but it still creates a large wall that can reflect noise back into an already noisy office space or muddy the sound in a rehearsal space for musicians. Many fabrics are available that reduce sound within a space (including those made by Gerriets) but most are nearly opaque and cut off most natural light coming into a room. Previous semi-sheer fabrics would do little to reduce sound being reflected by the window. This left architects and acousticians little choice in how to control window acoustics.

ABSORBER LIGHT is the first fabric available that can be hung in front of a window and reduce sound reverberations within a space without blocking out the natural light. The micro perforations in the weave of the fabric absorb sounds naturally. The curtains are ideally placed 4” to 12” away from a window or any other reverberant surface to achieve maximum absorbency. For example, an ABSORBER LIGHT curtain with 100% fullness can reduce the sound being reflected by up to 80% (αw = 0.80, acoustic absorption class B.) at a distance of 6” from the reflective surface. This revolutionary fabric is perfect for open office spaces, naturally lit lobbies, restaurants, hotels, or sunlit performance spaces. With ABSORBER LIGHT, architects are free to explore naturally lit spaces without worrying that it will create a large echo chamber.

ABSORBER LIGHT is just one of Gerriets acoustic solutions. Other Gerriets acoustic products include the OFFICE Sound Curtain, a multilayered curtain that can be used as a room divider, reducing sound transmission between rooms up to 26 dB. Another is the ABSORBER CS fabric, an extremely sound absorbent IFR fabric made from Trevira CS that can be used on Gerriets G-SORBER roller banners as another way to change the sound within a space.