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Focal Point 

From bettering focus in the workplace and classroom to quieting libraries and helping hospital patients sleep, acoustic controls play an important part in the experience of a built environment. Architecturally, measures to distribute natural resources like light and sound are as relevant as ever, as many markets address a growing need for ergonomic and holistic design solutions focused on emotional, physical, and mental comfort. 

In Chicago, lighting manufacturer Focal Point LLC has been on the forefront of these architectural accent materials for more than two decades, releasing many products that can be found in office, education, hospitality, and medical spaces alike. Recently, its acclaimed Acoustic Solutions Portfolio has been joined by three newly released product offerings, which also marry design-forward lighting and acoustics.

“Focal Point’s entire scope of acoustic products is built on the technical excellence we’re known for, combining thoughtfully engineered, highly configurable lighting with equally well-designed acoustic panels, baffles, and architectural luminaires that help curtail noise,” stated Mike Thornton, chief marketing officer for Focal Point, in a press release. 

The new products comprise Blume and Zyl pendant lights; Nivo Acoustic Tiles, an acoustic companion to Nivo architectural troffers; and TruBlade, an acoustic felt panel. All three are visually unified by a wide-ranging color palette of environmentally friendly PET felt, which draws up to 50 percent of its material from recycled plastic bottles and comes in a variety of colors, from standard neutrals and premium colors like “Pineapple” and “Cinnamon” to extended shades like “Ginger” and “Sand Dune.”

Both Blume and Zyl are sculptural pendant lights inspired by nature and they allow designers to choose individual body and trim combinations for a customized look. Nivo Acoustic Tiles and TruBlade address noise while offering adaptive designs that blend easily into existing environments or provide pops of color and texture of their own. Nivo, which utilizes a patent-pending, eco-friendly technology called AirCore, can be grouped in clusters and with troffers to create patterned ceilings, while TruBlade’s slim 9-millimeter-thick, sound-absorbing panel is customized in one-inch increments.

“Our collection, recognizing that light and noise are two critical components of a healthy space, also helps to meet WELL building standards and assists with LEED compliance,” said Mike McCoy, director of Focal Point’s Architectural Systems, in the press release. “With these added benefits, as well as our focus on beautiful modern design, Focal Point is stepping up to partner with our clients in holistic design planning, starting from the beginning stages of a project.”

Besides its economical and ergonomic ingenuity, Focal Point’s newest additions to its acoustics portfolio provide the benefits of acoustic control, while also creating intriguing design accents that can help delineate space by sight and sound. Above all, they represent a continued union and relevance of thoughtful technological advancement and uncompromising aesthetics. 

Text: R. Collins | GLBD writer

Photography: Jo Chicago Communications