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Nordic acoustics sounds good in the Netherlands

LOD Acoustic lamina bars

LOD is a new type of ceiling-suspended bar lamina perfect for screening off a surface or when you wish to divide the room. With its discrete and functional design it melts into the surroundings at...

The Dutch have been fond of nordic design. But now they have also opened their eyes to the acoustics. one of the industry’s most prominent figures and a true nordic ambassador is Bram Roose.

When I get hold of Bram Roose on phone in Amersfoort in the Netherlands, he has gotten himself into trouble. A pleasant trouble – 30 customer invoices to be printed and shipped before year end. A clear proof that his company Nordic Silence has done well in the first year that it has existed.

- I have won virtually every project assignment I have been involved in. We are the only ones that can guarantee a quality assured acoustic solution, and that’s incredibly important to our customers. The fact that we operate in the breakpoint between design and function is something that is becoming more and more appreciated, he says.

Acoustics is on the rise

There are a surge of acoustic projects to fix the acoustic environment and aesthetics in public places and at offices throughout the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in tandem cooperation with interior designers. This despite the fact that the market according to Bram Roose is quite immature.

- Soundproofing and acoustics is be- coming more important for customers. Architects view it differently. Some see it as a pure construction and design issue while others understand how closely it is related to interior design. Some have great knowledge, others less. Most people have probably less actually, which means we often get a coaching role where we try to translate their needs into practical solutions.

Open plan offices

The situation in the Netherlands, Bram Rooses biggest market, is the same as many other countries - it is expensive to build a new house, and instead of trying to move the company it makes more sense to use the space they already have. A company with a floorplan of small separate office is demolished in favor of open plan offices is a typical project for Nordic Silence. Usually it is a dated office building from the 70’s that is totally stripped on the inside and rebuilt with open floor plan.

- The companies love it, it’s transparent, creative, trendy and space efficient. But it is a challenge for interior designers. No walls, open spaces where sound reverberates and peoples voices interfere each other. But that’s where we come into play with our expertise and flexible solutions.

A Nordic atmosphere

To understand Nordic Silences success and strong position we need to go back a little in time. It all really started with Bram meeting his Finnish wife and started visiting the country.

- Every time we were in Finland, I saw all these beautiful, simple yet well-designed things. I knew of course that the Nordic countries are good at design, but now I could personally experience the special atmosphere design creates, he says.

So when he, after 18 years as an employed salesman at large companies felt he wanted to be more creative it seemed natural to take up the Nordic thread.

Bram RooseBram Roose
Nordic Silence and Tunnelma Design
- I started my first company, Tunnelma Design seven years ago. We import Nordic design from Finland, Sweden and Denmark. But I did not want to simply be the Benelux agent for Nordic lights and gadgets, but also create something. So really it’s more about the atmosphere than the products. What feeling and vibe should a room have and how it will affect those who are in it.

Bram Roose describes his work as creating atmospheres that are contemporary, warm and with a special Nordic touch. Clean and simple, preferably with wood rather than aluminum, and with Nordic DNA and character. Tunnelma means just that in Finnish – atmosphere.

- The atmosphere concept is our key to success, but it’s also about timing. Nordic design has recently become incredibly hot in the Netherlands, he says.

After a few years, and with a steadily growing network of contacts among architects and interior designers, Bram Roose got more and more questions about acoustics.

- At first I did not understand why they turned to me. I knew nothing about it. Customers figured I’d come up with a good solution, and the general impression here is that Scandinavians are good at that acoustics. So he started doing research. On Google he simply entered “Scandinavian acoustics” and happened to find Akustikmiljö.

- The important thing for me was finding someone who could customize solutions, and when I read about Akustikmiljö and saw the images on the web I immediately got a lot of ideas. I felt that here was an opportunity to meet clients’ needs.

Nordic silence

The brand Nordic Silence was born and the partnership is flourishing. Now Nordic Silence’s acoustics solutions is a big part of Bram Rooses business idea. Here, too, the brand is important and significative.

- Everyone in the Netherlands knows what the Nordic silence means. We imagine the tranquility of the landscape where you can walk for hours without experiencing noise or even meet a single person. Nordic Silence also signals quality and expertise. A perfect name with other words.

Dream projects

During the past year, Bram Roose, Akustikmiljö and various interior designers have collaborated on several exciting projects. One dream project was to solve the acoustics of an open plan office where the lunch room was placed in the middle of the room and they feared the silverware clanking, microwave sounds and conversations that would interfere with those who simultaneously were working nearby. Another project involved a brand new sports and cultural center where all gyms were equipped with textbook sound absorbers, but where the entrance hall had a troublesome echoing sound.

- It’s completely crazy, we opened shop only a year ago and I think I have already had some dream projects. But new ones will come because more people will hear about us and our smart solutions, says Bram Roose.

Nela Viskovic Arkitekt: Nela Viskovic
Interior designer with office design as a specialty. Trend report: “Acoustic solutions are needed more and more. When an open office environment needs to be shared but still allow for personal space using room dividers - sound absorbers provide both design and sound functions”

Bodemsanerings office in utrecht

Challenge
The company Bodemsanering Utrecht perform ground surveys for the Dutch national railways and I was asked to decorate their offices. They wanted an open but quiet environment with only a few areas that were for individual use. The inspiration came from the city of Utrecht, the lounge area serves as a town square and is located in the middle of the office. The customer’s first reaction was that it would be too disturbing for those who’s workstation was nearby. Especially since everyone do not eat at the same time.

Solution
I created a visual yet transparent barrier with LOD rods from Akustikmiljö in various earth tones and raw materials and surfaces in to match which connects to the company’s operations. On the wall in the lounge we used a PRINT sound absorbing panel of about 4x2,5 meters. The photo was taken by Dutch photographer Kees van de Meene portraying an old railroad motif so it connects to the corporate mission. The lamps are also made of sound absorbing material that directly suppresses much of the sound around the table.

Results
The customer is very happy with the new office and nobody complain that they are disturbed by noise from the lounge. The lounge is very cozy and popular and has become the heart of the office. LOD rods have received only positive comments, and for me it was extra fun to play with colors in different combinations. The function and design of LOD rods are very useful as a room divider.


BIG PRINT The conference room is dominated by a large image - a historical photo from the neighborhood. it is made with the sound absorber BIG PRINT from Akustikmiljö which is a fixed frame photo wall. Available in sizes up to 2.6 x 10 m.

LOD LOD Acoustics rods were used throughout the office to create workplaces that gives a feeling of both openness and privacy.

Koert Broekman Arkitekt: Koert Broekman - Studio Koert Broekman
Interior designer and independent designer. Trend report: “Those who engage in acoustic solutions in the Netherlands has a lot to do, it’s a good sign! Good acoustics has become a necessity as more and more aim for open work environments that have an informal feel and is reminiscent of home environments. Also, the “rough” naked style where on for example skip ceilings is very trendy right now. And when you get rid of the ceilings and walls you discover the acoustics problem. remarkably, it is often the case that it the noise is discovered after a company has moved to new offices. it should be taken into account from the beginning. right from the design and budget phase.”


MOLN The ceiling’s sound absorption was supplemented with MOLN hanging sound absorbers from Akustikmiljö. Circles are available in sizes up to 1.60 m (diameter).

Pelare Detail: Pillars are lined with SINGEL sound absorber in the official green color profile.