Ceiling Clouds - Francis Parker School

An Artful Ceiling Cloud Case Study.

Francis Parker School, a college preparatory day school in San Diego, California, makes it its mission to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers. A recent ceiling cloud installation project that involved a team of art students brings to life that mission while providing visitors to campus a glimpse of the community's creative spirit and camaraderie.

A Situation in the Atrium

Two large, two-story atriums flank the Francis Parker Library. Constructed primarily from glass and metal, these beautiful and spacious spaces created a noise problem: in addition to creating echo, sound easily transferred through the first and second floor open spaces. Seeking a solution to remedy the issue with noise, Francis Parker's facility director engaged Seaside Specialty Construction. When Steve Gough, the general contractor, arrived at the initial consultation, he was met with a problem and offered help in finding a solution - art students were tasked with this design project and needed an expert to help bring their vision to life.

An Artful Solution

The students excitedly jumped at the chance to help and put forth an interesting design. One of the school administrators proposed a meeting between Gough, the art teachers and students involved to discuss the project parameters, the design and fabrication process of the proposed solution: custom acoustic clouds.

Two shapes were proposed: "falling leaves" for the ceiling of the atrium itself, and a "waterfall" design to be located on the second-floor bannisters. To ensure a smooth exchange, a scale model of the space was constructed complete with the acoustic clouds to ensure Gough could envision what the students had in mind. The students then where presented with a color chart and ultimately selected four patterns and four colors for the atrium installation and one color for the bannisters.

With approval to proceed with the project, the team at Lamvin was brought into the fold, and together with Gough and with the scale-model in hand, the custom art panel design process could commence. A special topic of discussion was Gough's concerns that the panels were likely to swing in the open-air space. This was alleviated with Lamvin's solution of adding threaded rod attachments to secure the panels together.

Bringing the Project to Life

Less than six months after project kick-off, product fabrication commenced at Lamvin. Unistrut was installed in the existing open beam ceiling and painted to match the incoming clouds. Once the clouds were completed, the installation process could commence. The involved students and faculty came through the space periodically to check on progress and to discuss the overall design. The scaled model was on-site throughout the project to ensure a successful installation.

Go back