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As people return to the office and other public spaces, Maars’ new wall instantly creates physical, visual and acoustic boundaries
Maars Living Walls, the NeoCon-award-winning global designer and manufacturer of acoustic walls and doors, has launched its latest solution, the M923 wall, which is now available for order; as economies reopen, M923 is both a short-term solution for keeping people safer and a long-term solution for keeping people productive and engaged.
“We’re in a time when everything’s changed, in a matter of months. We’re returning to workplaces and public spaces, but with a new perspective. The health and safety of people – always a given, but maybe taken for granted – is now front and center wherever we go,” Maars CEO Menno de Vries said. “Because our collective view of interior environments has changed, new designs will follow. Space division is at the heart of this future design, and open spaces must adjust.”
Maars delivers with M923. The patent-pending solution, designed in collaboration with Gensler as a product design consultant, lets users create defined physical, visual and acoustic boundaries in a matter of minutes.
Simple-to-use and hackable, the wall originally was designed so people could create and define their own space in open-office structures. The concept combines elements of modern wall decoration, functional office furniture and movable walls in a standalone product. Panels in a variety of materials snap into place on a steel frame. The solution is customizable and intentional – a design-oriented departure from other kinds of semi-permanent and permanent dividers and barriers.
In addition to offering flexible separation in the open office, M923 can be specified for any environment that requires physical, visual or acoustic boundaries. Restaurants, stores, hotels, lobbies, airports, schools and more are among the types of spaces that can benefit from the versatility of the solution.
“M923 offers easy customization and personalization as well as a sense of privacy and security, both now and moving forward. Practical and beautiful, the solution supports people’s needs today, and adjusts to fit the future,” Maars Product Manager Sanneke Horstman said.
In the new reality, physical boundaries are key. M923 lets users quickly create boundaries between office walkways and working team members. People also can divide open office areas into smaller zones and even into individual workspaces.
‘‘The whole point of an open office is to keep it open. But a truly open office comes with a high price. Workers get distracted, the space can seem cavernous and impersonal, and the workplace becomes a fishbowl. In our new normal, the open space also can make people feel uncomfortable, maybe even unsafe. Striking a balance is a difficult task. M923 rises to the challenge,” Maars North America President Robert Craven said.
The wall can be used to separate spaces beyond the open office. Restaurants can use the solution between tables. Hotels can use the product in lobbies and at registration. The wall can create nooks in stores and coffee shops. It can divide spaces in classrooms and libraries. The possibilities are nearly limitless.
Visual distractions have increased in open spaces. M923 lets users adjust visual boundaries as needs change. Height boundaries also can add to the sense of safety for environments. With flexible options for higher and lower boundaries – even a combination of high, medium and low walls – M923 immediately adapts.
IMPROVING ACOUSTIC PRIVACY
Acoustic privacy has become paramount, particularly in the open-office environment. The office furniture industry has seen a growing number of standalone privacy pods and “cubby” seating – great products but, given that they’re typically used by multiple people, they likely will require continual cleaning.
A variety of M923 panels let users easily improve acoustic privacy in the office and beyond without having to invest in difficult-to-maintain products or permanently modify spaces.
WHY MAARS DEVELOPED M923
The advent of the open office – coupled with consumers’ demands for customization, immediacy, privacy and flexibility – informed Maars’ development of M923.
“Open spaces foster communication and collaboration, so it’s important that the positive aspects of these environments aren’t lost by applying permanent separations. In studying the market and engaging with users, we learned that other solutions often have been project-based and inflexible, unsustainable and not reusable. Even more problematic, they haven’t offered interaction with the user,” Horstman said.
M923 was designed to retain the benefits of the open office while addressing its challenges.
Working in collaboration with renowned global design and architecture firm Gensler, Maars created M923 to be a modular panel system unlike any other. The patent-pending product officially launched in the fall of 2019 and became orderable in May 2020.
“Architects make the best designs, but, within these designs, people want to create their own work environment. M923 flexes to let people easily create their own space, but within the architect’s design intent,” de Vries said.
THE POWER TO TRANSFORM
As organizations work more dynamically, there’s a greater need for products that give users the ability to transform and customize their spaces with autonomy – and to make these changes often and instantly, without the need for a work order or a tool kit.
Consisting of interlocking profiles with snap-in-place panels, and fully demountable and relocatable, M923 truly is a “living wall.” It defines open areas with the right type of functionality – and the right balance of porosity and privacy – for the task and tenant at hand. And it’s always attractive, no matter the configuration.
PANEL FINISHES AND COLORS
M923 panels are available in a range of colors and materials (moss, cork, absorption panels, marker boards, textiles and more). Users can easily change the panels and design the wall themselves. Because the panels are easy to change, it’s possible to adjust the appearance of a space very quickly and inexpensively. The myriad options make M923 ideal for changing up spaces from offices to restaurants to retail with style and ambiance.
APP FOR USERS AND ARCHITECTS
Users and architects can discover the possibilities of M923 with an augmented reality app that’s available on the App Store and on Google Play. The AR app allows the customized wall, with all available panels, to be placed virtually in a room. The specified wall with accessories then can be easily forwarded to order.
Learn more about Maars’ M923 and watch the product video at https://maarslivingwalls.com/m923.
About Maars Living Walls
Maars is the world-market leader in architectural walls. Maars has years of experience and combines this with special innovative power, so design and performance merge effortlessly. For more than 70 years, Maars has been developing, producing, selling and installing high-quality walls. Maars offers both standard and customized solutions for offices, airports, schools, hospitals, factories, shops and hotels. Maars has a great deal of knowledge in the field of acoustics, fire and stability, with more than 150 acoustic and fire-resistant walls and doors tested by international test institutes. Learn more at https://maarslivingwalls.com/.