Project Detail


Audi Manhattan

New York, NY United States

CR Studio


Project Description

In the vehicle handover area at the new Audi Manhattan dealership, customers pick up their vehicles with style in a room illuminated by SEFAR® Architecture LIGHTFRAME wall and ceiling panels. LIGHTFRAME provides an atmosphere that showcases the car and generates excitement in ownership while staying true to the Audi brand.

Audi Manhattan recently moved to its new location at 11th Avenue and 55th Street in New York, NY – a state-of-the-art facility built for the ultimate car buying experience. In the new facility’s vehicle handover area, where new owners see their car for the very first time, lighting is crucial. The distinct character and style of the owner’s Audi must be unveiled flawlessly.

“In terms of light quality and transmission, SEFAR Architecture LIGHTFRAME outperformed all of the other products we were considering,” says Lea Cloud, AIA, LEED AP, founding partner at CR Studio, the project’s architect and the design architect of record for Audi. “Not to mention, we were very impressed with its ease of accessibility for cleaning and its simple, elegant aesthetic.”

SEFAR Architecture LIGHTFRAME is the only fabric ceiling system available that can provide both significant light diffusion and acoustic improvements. It features dual wrinkle-free, high light-diffusing architectural fabrics biaxially stretched over a razor thin modular frame system. LIGHTFRAME’s unique secondary membrane allows it to diffuse light while improving acoustics. The dual membrane system prevents the penetration of debris and bugs that hinder the visual impact of other translucent ceiling products.

The individual LIGHTFRAME modules at Audi Manhattan are stretched with two layers of SEFAR Architecture’s IA-80-CL PVDF interior acoustic fabric on the visible side that allows 80 percent light transmission. Both the ceiling and wall modules were installed with electric lighting fixtures.

“SEFAR Architecture consulted with us on the installation of this system, and as a result the process went very smoothly,” explains Cloud.

The artificial lighting is transmitted through the LIGHTFRAME fabric, providing beautifully diffused and uniform light while improving room acoustics. This provides the ideal environment to explain the controls and operation of the new Audi vehicle to the customer.

Each LIGHTFRAME module pivots to a vertical position for ease of cleaning and fixture maintenance. The dual skin system eliminates penetration of dust and insects on the fabric membrane, which can inhibit the transference of light over time. The material resists moisture and dirt, and is ASTM E 84 Class A rated, meeting all fire code requirements, In the event of a fire, LIGHTFRAME produces very little smoke and instead of dripping, it dissipates. LIGHTFRAME is also free of VOCs.

“The vehicle handover area creates a lasting impression,” says Peter Katcha, Director, North American Sales for SEFAR Architecture. “Audi treats their customers to a unique buying experience that represents the luxury brand’s image and LIGHTFRAME allows the new vehicle to shine like a crown jewel.”

The renovation project at Audi Manhattan was completed in fall 2012. To learn more about SEFAR LIGHTFRAME, visit

About SEFAR Architecture: SEFAR Architecture is a leading manufacturer of monofilament precision and ePTFE yarn fabrics and fabric systems for interior and exterior architectural applications. With comprehensive knowledge in textile architecture, Sefar has cooperated with experienced lighting technicians and polymer experts to develop a new generation of fabrics for the architectural and design community. For more information on SEFAR Architecture’s products and services, call Peter Katcha at 727-388-4919 or visit


Project Details

Audi Manhattan
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Specified Products


The SEFAR LIGHTFRAME Ceiling System incorporates Sefar fabric membranes that are both photometrically optimized for light transmittance and diffusion, and acoustically optimized for sound absorption. LightFrame is the only ceiling system that provides both beneficial characteristics in one complete package.

A LIGHTFRAME unit is comprised of a lightweight and slim aluminum frame with a depth of 3" and a visible profile of less than ½". To this frame, a Sefar membrane of a specific photometric and acoustic property is affixed in tension to become the visible ceiling surface.

The upper, unseen surface of the unit is an ETFE translucent film also affixed in tension to the frame. This film helps to achieve the designer's desired photometric and acoustic properties, while preventing contaminates from impacting LigthFrame's visual appeal from below.

Each LIGHTFRAME unit is installed beneath electric lighting fixtures in a manner similar to the installation of a traditional drop ceiling. Electric lighting is transmitted through the LIGHTFRAME unit where it is transmitted in beautifully diffuse manner into the interior space.



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