Overbury’s brief from Interface for its Birmingham HQ included creating a space with a wow factor that acts as a hub for customers
Words by Cathy Hayward
If you want to see great flooring in action then visit a flooring company. Spread across 7,500 sq ft at 10 Colmore Row in Birmingham, Interface’s new HQ, The Greenhouse designed by Overbury, showcases its full suite of flooring finishes. Every square foot is unique, with varied finishes, sustainable furniture and views over the city.
The brief was simple: create a space with a wow factor that not only inspires the Interface team but also acts as a hub for customers. The company also wanted to balance design with the need for a functional space, which suits different styles of working at the same time.
10 Colmore Row’s floor-to-ceiling windows allow an abundance of light to shine through to the 10th floor of this iconic building
Following a review of its business, Interface closed its site in Shelf, West Yorkshire, relocated its UK headquarters to Birmingham, and created a new EMEA design centre called The Mill in Dean Clough, Halifax. Interface’s previous office in Shelf was made up of separate offices. The traditional construct and design of the space made it difficult to support a collaborative style of working. The team needed a location that would allow for large open workspaces and a large showcase space for customers to visit. Finding the perfect location for Interface’s new UK HQ was crucial. As the UK’s first biophilic city and one steeped in manufacturing history, Birmingham provided an ideal central UK setting.
Interface designs a range of commercial flooring solutions, each taking inspiration from natural environments. This led Overbury to reflect the wider environments that inspired their products throughout their office design. The challenge was to seamlessly design an office that doubled as a showroom through integrating their range of 30-plus flooring solutions into the design.
The Greenhouse supports 365 people across 42 desks and numerous break-out and meeting areas and collaborative spaces
The floor-to-ceiling windows allow an abundance of light to shine through to the 10th floor of this iconic building. The design makes the most of this, situating different working and meeting areas close to the windows and even integrating cafe-style high seating into the windows themselves. Staff feel as if they’re working above the clouds. The Greenhouse supports 365 people across 42 desks and numerous break-out areas, meeting and collaborative spaces.
On entering the space you’re met with a wisteria tree sprouting from the kitchen island, its vines and flowers intertwined with feature lighting and the timber ceiling raft above. This creates a central point of calm in a space that blends showroom with workspace. The wisteria with its pink hues contrasts with the wooden finishes and teal greens used in the kitchen to create a sense of serenity.
Nature and wellbeing plays a key part in Interface’s product designs, so bringing biophilia into the working environment was a key part of the brief. Nature is all around you in this office – from the timber floorings and wall coverings and the natural light, to the wooden desks, and even agile working areas with pot plants hanging from above. This is an office that truly rejuvenates the soul.
Every square foot is unique, with varied finishes, sustainable furniture and views over the city
The hero of each area had to be Interface’s flooring products, so Overbury designed the layout and working areas to best showcase how the products could be used to set the tone for different working areas. The building brings Interface’s family of carbon-neutral products together, from carpet tile to luxury vinyl tile and Nora rubber flooring.
Careful consideration was made in choosing the furniture to complement the varied flooring design. All finishes, fabrics and fittings were chosen for their sustainable properties.
Upcycled, recycled and repurposed, furniture and IT from other offices were reused where possible. Interface also has a waste separation process in place to fully recycle waste, separating clear plastic and paper from other materials. The Greenhouse was literally designed from the ground up.