Soft Cells has realised BIG’s vision for an elegant, continuous string ceiling on the second floor of the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris. The architects initially approached Soft Cells specifically for their R&D expertise in this technically challenging area.
Creating a seamless, precise surface using suspended ropes is exceptionally demanding. The different elements require a high degree of stiffness, and the tensioning of the ropes must be extremely accurate. Furthermore, the ceiling at Galeries Lafayette was required to conceal technical installations – while providing access to ventilation and sprinkler systems.
The team at Soft Cells drew on their extensive knowledge of tensioning ceiling membranes to develop a solution. The system they created solves complex geometries and can be specified to fit virtually any space – with no visible joints between panels. A series of springs keeps the ropes perfectly taught.
Moreover, to ensure easy technical access, the Soft Cells designers invented a smart mechanism for the panels. This innovation enables technicians to flip them open whenever maintenance is required.
Jakob Sand, Partner BIG: ”Soft Cells has a great development department with a high level of technical knowledge, as well as artistic and aesthetic ambitions. So, we were sure that the collaboration would meet our vision for the flagship store on the Champs Elysees. It was a very productive and pleasant experience working with Kvadrat Soft Cells. The talented Soft Cells team consistently proposed interesting and innovative solutions.”
BIG, Bjarke Ingels Group
Additional project facts
Acoustics: Soft Cells panels perform according to Class A as per ISO 11654/EN ISO 354
Flammability: the Soft Cells panels perform according to B-s1, d0 as per EN13501-1