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Lantern ceiling warms interior of Etihad Airways Lounge

Geometric design reflects shapes found in Arabian architecture.

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July 17, 2017 |

The design vision Gensler had in mind for the ceiling above the bar at the new Etihad Airways lounge at JFK International Airport in New York called for a modern interpretation of an antique Persian lantern with a warm glow emanating from within.

As national airline for the United Arab Emirates, Etihad wanted the ceiling to reflect the design of its new brand image, which draws on the geometric shapes found throughout the architecture of Abu Dhabi and its desert landscape.

The concept Gensler developed for the ceiling featured triangular-shaped metal ceiling panels installed in a faceted geometric pattern above the bar. The panels would feature triangular-shaped perforations with translucent infill panels that would filter the light from behind the ceiling to provide a lantern-like glow.

To realize this design vision, Gensler turned to the You Inspire™ Solutions Center at Armstrong® Ceiling Solutions. The center is a free service Armstrong offers to architects, designers, and contractors to help make one-of-a-kind ideas like the lantern ceiling a reality.


The lantern visual was created by cutting triangular-shaped perforations in the custom MetalWorks Torsion Spring panels, coating the panels with a bronze finish, and backing them with custom Infusions® infill panels in a golden-brown color.


Complex Geometric Design

After reviewing the drawings, the design team realized that the Armstrong Ceilings MetalWorks™ Torsion Spring Ceiling System could be customized to create the design required for the 600-square-foot ceiling. “This was a complex geometric design,” says design engineer Dan Holdridge, who worked with Gensler on the project. “There were approximately 160 ceiling panels with different sizes and shapes and each pod had its own custom suspension system.”

The lantern visual was created by cutting triangular-shaped perforations into the aluminum panels, powder-coating them with a bronze finish, and backing them with custom Armstrong Ceilings Infusions® infill panels in a golden-brown color. Lighting from behind the ceiling provides the desired warm glow.

The panels were manufactured in triangular pods of approximately three-to-six panels each with each pod representing a different plane or facet in the ceiling. Each pod was about six-to-eight feet in size. The ceiling is made is made up of about 50 pods altogether

To facilitate installation, the ceiling pods were pre-assembled with the suspension systems attached. The pre-assembled pods were designed to automatically hang at the proper slope angles when bolted together, greatly reducing the number of hanging points the installer would need to locate.


The design vision was realized by installing triangular-shaped custom MetalWorks™ Torsion Spring ceiling panels in a faceted geometric pattern above the bar.


A Jewel of a Ceiling

Etihad was so pleased with the result that it replicated the ceiling design that it plans to make the lantern ceiling a hallmark of its lounges in other destinations around the world.

“The lantern ceiling has become the jewel – the showcase piece within the lounge – that ties together the different elements in the Etihad brand,” says Gensler design team manager Matt Johnson. “This is what we set out to accomplish in our design vision. The team from Armstrong Ceilings worked really hard to make sure the actual installed piece maintained the integrity of that vision.”

For more information, visit the You Inspire Solutions Center at www.armstrongceilings.com/youinspire or call 1-800-988-2585.

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