We’ve got a lot of “waffles” in the library here at Wentworth, as part of the ever-present Brutalist/mid-century modern style of Beatty Hall. Just look up, you’ll likely see a waffle slab.

The grid-like pattern of the waffle slabs is a design element from the building’s original plans, perhaps for sound-proofing, or simply as an economical way to construct the building’s ceilings.

rendering of ceiling with metal scrim

Perkins + Will is highlighting the waffle slab in the best possible way – visible high atop the open ceiling in the main part of the library, but surrounded by a perforated metal scrim to create a clean visual line while hiding pipes and such. The perforated metal will likely have a subtle, much smaller waffle-esque pattern, echoing the building’s original components. With new LED lighting to draw the eye just so, the metal scrim will appear to be a floating translucent edge atop the library space.

Concrete waffle slabs are part of the history of concrete usage in building construction, as well as in the mid-century modern/Brutalist architectural designs common when Beatty Hall was built in the mid-1960’s.

We’ve put together a list of some of the many library resources available on the topics of concrete construction, design, and Brutalist architecture to get you inspired like we are here in the library!