Since its humble start as a bakery in 1850, the Hotel Theatre Figi has been an important social gathering point in the town of Zeist in the Netherlands. Under the careful ownership of Ruijs family since 1917, the hotel and concert hall were added to the establishment in 1925, and a full rebuild took place in 1994. By 2017, Diederik and Victoria Ruijs – the third generation in charge of Figi – believed it was time to renovate the building once more, with the theatre lobby ready for a makeover in 2018.

The challenge

The Ruijs family hired interior architect Gerben van der Molen, from Stars Design in Schiedam, to create a fresh and functional redesign for the theatre lobby. A busy space that acts as both the cinema and theatre lobby, optimising acoustics was high on the agenda. The goal was to find a ceiling solution that was both functional and affordable, but also stylish and in line with the creative environment of the lobby. And installation should be hassle-free to ensure that the installation renovation took place to time so that the cinema and theatre could reopen quickly to an appreciative public.

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Zeist, The Netherlands

Project location

Hotel Theatre Figi
The Netherlands

"When reopening the lobby of Hotel Theater Figi in Zeist, all the guests were talking about the ceiling. That’s the best compliment we could get.”

Gerben van der Molen,

Interior architect from Stars Design

The solution

The architect worked closely with the team at Rockfon, part of the ROCKWOOL Group, to find a solution that stood out from a standard suspended ceiling, but was still within budget. Together, they developed a 3D solution based on a stripped down system ceiling using standard acoustic ceiling panels and grid profiles.

“When the interior architect shared his vision with me, we were able to create a whole new application using available components in a different way,” explains Anton Faber, key account manager Rockfon. “A mockup at the Rockfon Development Center in Wijnegem convinced both the architect and the client to take a leap of faith and execute it for the first time.”

Why are acoustics so important?

Why are acoustics so important?

Poor acoustics are something we’ve all experienced. When sound waves hit hard the surfaces in a room – such as walls, floors and windows – the audible energy wave that we call noise reflects back into the room causing the overall noise level in the room to rise. Whether at home, in the office, at school or – as in the case of the Hotel Theatre Figi – in the cinema lobby, poor acoustics can be very irritating. Considering that we spend the vast majority of our time inside, it is important to consider the impact acoustics have on our health, concentration, productivity and overall well-being.


Easy insulation for an intricate installation

A result that speaks for itself. The finished ceiling not only looked bold and fresh, it also provided great acoustics, and contributed to the experience of every visitor. “A suspended modular ceiling is often a ‘must’ when looking for a low-budget ceiling solution,” says Gerben van der Molen, interior architect from Stars Design. “However, a visible grid is not always the most beautiful aspect of the design and architects often try to hide it. But why not use the grid to our advantage and make it stand out more? I discussed my vision with Rockfon key account manager, Anton Faber. Together with the technical specialists, we were able to make this happen by developing a new 3D-application using available components.”

Transforming a traditional stripped-down rail system

The striking ceiling was created using Rockfon Blanka® in combination with a new 3D grid application, Rockfon Color-all®. By using c-profiles – the product used to close gaps between grid and tiles – the black rail system was highlighted, and then the ceiling panels were placed in an oblique position. This innovative solution allows the architect to maximise acoustics while playing with heights and patterns at the same time, creating a whole new experience. Rockfon Blanka® has a fully matt, smooth and extra-white surface, with high light reflection and light diffusion that contributes to energy

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Why are acoustics so important?

Short term exposure to poor acoustics leads to a lack of concentration, long term effects of continuous exposure to indoor noise pollution can lead to hearing loss, increased heart rate and high blood pressure. To reduce the consequences of uncontrolled acoustics, it’s important to introduce materials that absorb and dampen ambient sound levels, preventing reverberation. And to achieve proper sound absorption we need to control the ambient sound pressure levels in a space, which increases speech intelligibility and makes conversation easier to hear and understand. And this is where innovative solutions from Rockfon can make a true difference.

Project Data

Year 2018
Building Type Theatre
Application Acoustic ceiling solution
Product type Rockfon