Fashion Outlets of Niagara, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

The architect was commissioned to redesign both the interior and exterior of the popular, 150-brand name outlet mall located minutes from Niagara Falls. As part of the $12 million upgrade and renovation, the design team decided it wanted to impart a unified theme to the mall featuring a natural palette. Instead of using real wood ceilings in the mall’s general concourse corridors, the team chose a unique suspended metal ceiling from Armstrong Ceilings that provides the rich, warm, upscale look of real wood, but at a much more affordable cost.

The ceiling features a realistic cherry finish that is actually embedded onto a standard metal panel. The wood-look, powder coated finish is created by a process called FX Technology, where nothing is actually laminated to the panel, leaving no risk of delamination. Armstrong Ceilings supplied its MetalWorks Effects Wood Looks in Cherry. The Electrogalvanized steel panels have a 0.021-inch (0.5-mm) thickness.

Additionally, the 2- by 2-foot (0.6- by 0.6-m) metal ceiling panels are extra microperforated to help improve acoustics in the space. Even though the perforations are only 0.03-inch (0.7-mm) in diameter and are practically invisible, they allow the metal panels to achieve a Noise Reduction Coefficient of 0.65 when used with an acoustical fleece backing, meaning they absorb 65 percent of the sound that strikes them.

The metal panels install easily in standard T-bar suspension systems, and require no time for the panels to acclimate to the temperature and humidity conditions of the installation environment.

Contractor: Rivera Enterprises, Niagara Falls
Architect: Lauer-Manguso & Associates Architects, Buffalo, N.Y.
Metal ceiling panels: Armstrong Ceilings, Lancaster, Pa.,