Coffered ceilings are composed of grids containing sunken panels divided by moldings or soffits. Coffered ceiling patterns originated during the Renaissance when the distinctive moldings were used to accent structural elements in ceilings.
Contemporary coffered ceilings are similar to drop ceilings in that panels are suspended slightly below the structural ceiling in order to create space for wiring and plumbing. This construction style allows for easy customization and construction as it does not require a structural latticework of beams in order to create.
Contemporary coffered ceilings also allow for the easy concealment of network cabling, speaker wiring, and other modernizations without disrupting the classical appearance of the room.