Parliament House


Parliament House, Helsinki

Lumir’s acoustic coating to the demanding environment of Parliament House

The idea was to have a calm, uniform and seamless acoustic surface

In earlier renovations of Parliament House, fabric-wrapped acoustic structures and surfaces were used which had become stained over time. When Parliament House was fully renovated the fabric-wrapped structures were removed and there was a need for new acoustic solutions.

The architect wanted to find an acoustic material that would suit this historic building and would not increase the size of the surfaces. The idea was that the desired acoustic material would look like a plastered surface, and in some places even like a smoothed and painted rock surface, and blend in with the old surfaces. The acoustic surface would be calm, uniform and seamless, and there were to be no battens on the wall and ceiling surface joints.

Furthermore, the colours of the acoustic coated walls and ceilings had to match perfectly the colour palette created by J.S. Sirén. The final matching colours were defined according to the Natural Colour System. There was a wish that some of the acoustic upholstery would include integrated, flat loudspeakers, and the surfaces could function as projection screens.

Positive combined effort with the aim to generate good quality

We were more than happy to accept this opportunity to be part of the team that provided the acoustic design solutions to the demanding environment of the Parliament building. It was a positive combined effort where every little thing was refined again and again. We discussed with the designer how Lumir’s properties such as wall toughness and durability would work in terms of acoustics of the Parliament building. In addition to looks and durability, when we chose the materials we focused on the acoustic properties of the surface. They would have to offer a major, conclusive improvement to those spaces where sound absorption was enhanced. We tested and assessed the acoustics in various stages of the project with an acoustic engineer.

Some of the sound absorption surfaces were installed in spaces that had seating also on the sides. The chosen acoustic surfaces would be touched and even knocked, therefore, they had to be easy to mend and patch. The delicate interior of the Parliament building added some challenges to the project. We had to be careful when spraying a coating so as not to damage or smudge any sensitive adjacent surfaces.

Lumir’s quickly installed solutions often include plasterboard that absorbs low-frequency sounds as well as Lumir’s acoustic coating that absorbs high-frequency sounds.  In the Parliament building we also used Lumir’s acoustic Spray for hard surfaces that created an old surface effect.

Creating many different spaces with different colours was a challenging job for both the Lumir’s main spray operators as for the senior paint specialist. We were able to find the colours and textures for the surfaces using several models and making tests so that they would match the adjoining walls.

The main contractor in the Parliament House project was Lemminkäinen Talo Oy. Project Manager Timo Arponen praises those involved in creating the acoustic surfaces.

– Lumir did the job well. The spray operators were calm team players.

Photographs: Hanne Salonen/ Parliament