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Wood ceilings and walls help convey energy of college football

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Wood ceilings and walls help convey energy of college football

Real wood veneer panels evoke warmth, texture, and color of a football.

By Armstrong Ceilings | April 4, 2017

Custom WoodWorks® Channeled wall panels control acoustics in the College Football Hall of Fame and contribute to the formal atmosphere of the space.

From the outside, the rotunda at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta looks very much like a football. “It’s an iconic piece of architecture,” says project architect Emery Leonard of TVS Design, Atlanta. “Some people call it a football – some people call it a helmet. We abstracted it a bit.”

The design team wanted the interior of the rotunda to convey the same sense of energy about the game. “We wanted visitors to know they were inside that same football or helmet,” he says. “We wanted that energy to be experienced from both outside and inside the building.”

Helping to convey that energy is the WoodWorks® ceiling and wall system from Armstrong Ceiling Solutions the design team chose for the interior of the three-story structure. With a Natural Variations™ Light Cherry finish, the wood ceilings and walls mirror the warm, brown color of the exterior and evoke the warmth, texture and shape of a football.

The real wood veneer panels also control acoustics and soften the raw stadium aesthetic of the space. “We didn’t want to rely on typical white acoustical ceiling panels,” explains Leonard. “We wanted something that would visually soften the space.”

By selecting a natural material like wood, the design team avoided using a color that would appear to favor any one college team. “We put color into the space by using natural materials like wood or even leather,” he explains.


Layers of WoodWorks® Linear panels help control acoustics in the Game Day Theater. Providing added acoustic control are the layers of Optima® panels folded into the layers of wood panels in the ceiling.


Controlling Acoustics 

In the round Hall of Fame room, where the game’s greatest legends are revered, custom WoodWorks Channeled wall panels control acoustics while contributing to the formal atmosphere of the space. Perforated with an acoustical backing, the panels have an NRC of 0.70, meaning they absorb 70 percent of the sound that strikes them. “The warm-toned, shingled, perforated wooden wall panels were a good fit to address the design requirements for acoustic control, complex geometric fit, and formal mood,” says Leonard.

In the Game Day Theater, layers of WoodWorks Linear panels control acoustics and heighten the visual energy of the space. Perforated with an acoustical backing, the panels, which are installed in folded planes that go up the walls and across the ceiling, have an NRC of 0.60. To enhance acoustics, layers of Optima® panels, with an NRC of 0.90, are installed between the folds of wood panels in the ceiling. “We used a combination of materials to bounce the sound around and keep it from leaking out into other spaces,” he explains.

 The same WoodWorks Linear panels control acoustics in the lobby, where helmets from more than 700 college teams are on display. The panels are installed across the ceiling and down the wall behind the helmets. “Again, we wanted something that provided acoustic protection and had a natural finish to it," he says.

“The project has a lot of exposed concrete and steel,” he adds. “The wood is the third element that softens out the whole interior both acoustically and visually.”

For information on these and other linear acoustical ceiling solutions, please visit


In the lobby, where helmets from more than 700 college teams are on display, rows of WoodWorks Linear panels provide the necessary acoustic control.


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