Acoustic Solutions for Noisy Restaurants
Have you ever strained to listen attentively to the conversation happening at your own table in a really noisy restaurant, only to be overwhelmed by sounds coming at you from every angle? Besides other people talking, there are so many factors that contribute to the ambient noise in restaurants – music, the clanging of dishes and cutlery, the humming of the heating & ventilation system – in turn forcing patrons to raise their voices until it becomes impossible to hear what the person sitting two feet away is trying to say. It can be challenging, if not down right irritating when suddenly you are forced to learn to lip read and act out your stories in grand gestures.
The main reason the noise in modern restaurants is out of control, is because they are designed to be easily cleaned and affordably built – which often means they are full of hard + smooth surfaces that cause sounds to bounce all around. Soft, plush, luxurious restaurant interiors are largely a thing of the past, with current casual dining trends commonly employing non-upholstered seating and naked windows. As a result, there are few elements in contemporary restaurant designs that can absorb sounds. Furthermore, the trend in having commercial kitchens that are (at least partially) open to the dining space has unleashed noises that were previously contained within its walls. As a result, it is not uncommon for restaurant owners to reach out to interior designers like us to help to alleviate the headaches caused by their noisy establishments. So, this week we are featuring some methods and materials that are currently on the market to help absorb such shocking sound waves from the air.
(It should be noted that our selections are in line with our Urbanomic Interiors design style. We tend to like things that are fun & funky….)
Part 1 – Wall Panels
Many companies offer wall panel systems that can be installed on walls and or ceilings, and sometimes even suspended. Here are some of our favourites! Many of them are geared towards office environments, but they work in any space really.
“Bits wall can be freely combined to create different pattern formations. Using a triangular shape not only produces an aesthetically attractive look, but also effectively breaks the sound waves, which makes a better acoustic environment. The product is mounted on the wall by using hidden hanging rails,allowing the panels to be hung either horizontally or vertically and offering users the flexibility to create both symmetrical and asymmetrical pattern formations.
The system’s modular construction means that Bits Wall can be assembled to whatever size the user requires. The sound absorbent panels are made from moulded polyester fibre that is covered with fabric.”
“A round, sound-insulating panel with a hole in the middle that gives it its tasty name. Tasty by name and tasteful by nature: a sleek round form with a space in the middle for lighting, to be covered with one of the specially-designed 3D prints available in all the colours of the BuzziSpace spectrum. The BuzziDonut is a fine piece that does not just light up the room but improves the acoustic qualities of the space as well.” – from buzzi.space/donut/
We have a few more tricks up our sleeve and will be adding to this post soon!