An office is much more than four walls – yes there’s the floor, but there’s also the often-overlooked ceiling overhead.

Who doesn’t admire Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling? The amazing work was commissioned in early 1500s. While we’re not advocating attempting to match the 460 square metres of frescoes, Eden can help transform the office ceiling into something more than plain paint or suspended ceiling tiles.

Anyone having visited the Vatican will have experienced the poor acoustics in the magnificent chapel. That’s where a little planning and foresight can transform office space from a dull, noisy box into a vibrant calm workspace.

Typically with poor acoustics, one person speaks loudly, the next has to raise their voice to be heard over the first and so on until the room is effectively full of a shouting rabble.

Office design and workspace planning reaps rewards by having using features and layouts to combat noise. Interrupting sound paths with acoustic elements can truly transform a work environment. Office pods work well for privacy but wall hangings and particularly ceiling acoustic elements are exceptionally effective at mitigating noise.

Sound-reducing materials have advanced considerably and are no longer restricted to the ‘egg-box’ foam of recording studio walls. Bespoke printing of artwork onto acoustic panels is now very affordable, but the ceiling is very often overlooked as an asset in aesthetics. Several companies in the UK offer light and bright solutions to noise, including Autex Interior Acoustics UK. By working with a supplier from the initial brief, it is possible to provide the practicalities needed as well as a wow factor with how the room looks.

While office design is seldom likely to allow the opportunity to commission hundreds of square metres of frescoes to modern-day Michelangelos, it is possible to use the space above us to create something that contributes to the end result both in looks and function.