image of the suspended ceiling at hong kong airport

History of Suspended Ceilings

A brief history of suspended ceilings

Suspended ceilings, otherwise known as false or dropped ceilings, were first used and developed in Japan during the 14th Century. This was used for aesthetic reasons and made from simple planks or coffered (a series of sunken panels in the shape of a square, rectangle or octagon).

The first known use of a suspended ceiling in Europe is the Blackfriars Theatre (London, UK) that was built in 1956; it was constructed to aid acoustics.


What are the design objectives of suspended ceilings?

An effective suspended ceiling building design has key objectives: aesthetics, acoustics, environmental factors, cost, long-term operation, and integration with the building’s infrastructure.


Modern suspended ceilings were initially designed and created to cover and hide the building infrastructure such as piping and wiring. 

For many years, dropped ceilings were predominately made up of white tiles. However, modern technology and innovations have seen a plethora of options for suspended ceilings, including different sizes, colours, materials, visual effects, shapes, patterns, textures and support systems.


An early objective when the first suspended ceilings were being designed and created was to balance and control the acoustics within a building. Noisy rooms can overstimulate users, while a quieter room interior can be dull and uninviting.

Over the years, the acoustic performance of suspended ceilings has dramatically improved with modern inventions such as enhanced sound absorption and attenuation.


Why install a suspended ceiling?

One of the many benefits of suspended ceilings is that they can truly escalate a room within a building. They’re also an affordable, stylistic ceiling option that is perfect for hiding pipes and fixtures. A dropped ceiling is also very easy to install, or be removed should any structural work need to be carried out in the future.


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Contact Wessex Interiors

If you’re looking to install suspended ceilings in your Southampton or Portsmouth based business then call Wessex Interiors today on 02380 663 100 or fill out our online contact form and our experienced and friendly staff will be happy to give you a quote.