In October 2012, the Spanish city of Zaragoza found its way into the record books as home to the largest shopping centre in Europe.
With a cinema, an amusement park and over 150 big-name stores, the sprawling 206,000 m2 Puerto Venecia has something for everyone. Cafes and restaurants line a canal that meanders through the complex and an artificial lake sits at the heart of an outdoor activity area.
Achieving acoustic attenuation and control of sound reverberation is fundamental.
With water playing such an important role outdoors, the designers looked to integrate the same fluid feeling indoors. That’s when architect Eduardo Simarro at L-35 Arquitectos decided to look up. Simarro explains: “In an area of this size – 200m long by 24m wide – where thousands of people gather, achieving acoustic attenuation and control of sound reverberation is fundamental. For this purpose, work must be done especially on the ‘horizontal’ planes since nearly all of the vertical planes are glass windows.” He designed the shopping mall with a ribbon of white ceiling rippling down the middle, evoking the ebb and flow of the water in the lake just outside.
At first glance, it’s easy to think the ceiling is made of hard plaster or gypsum. Actually it is 3,500 m2 of sound-absorbing Rocfkon Mono Acoustic. More than just an artistic nicety, the ceiling helps control the acoustics of the vast shopping centre. “Rockfon is a natural choice for its sound absorption and aesthetically good finish. It is very easy to work with the products, and the stone wool core is an excellent material,” says Mariano Velilla , installer with Europlac 2002.