Flooring Focus: Project: Argyll’s Nova North, London

Toby Maxwell survey projects that set new and exciting standards for flooring

WITH A PANORAMA across the city, Argyll’s Nova North offers a prime office environment in the heart of London’s Victoria. Looking to reimagine part of the building to provide high-end office and co-working spaces, Argyll opted for a clean minimalist look with a focus on acoustic benefits.

Karndean Designflooring partnered with interior designer Emma Turner to create a high-end co-working space and lounge area in what was previously an underused bar area on the double-height mezzanine 11th floor. Combining the practicality of Karndean LooseLay with its Opus glue-down range, the bespoke floor balances the industrial nature of the building with timeless elegance and ensures that the updated interior is instantly understandable so customers can easily identify how to best use and navigate the space.

Fleur Carson, commercial sales director at Karndean Designflooring, says: ‘Karndean flooring is a perfect choice for busy workplaces. With an authentic look of stone flooring but without any of the downsides, Karndean offers a tough Fleur Carson, commercial sales director at Karndean Designflooring, says: ‘Karndean flooring is a perfect choice for busy workplaces. With an authentic look of stone flooring but without any of the downsides, Karndean offers a tough surface for high-traffic areas that’s undemanding when it comes to maintenance. Its consistent thickness makes it eminently suitable for bespoke designs, either by blending complementary stone designs as at Nova North or even combining wood and stone designs alongside each other.

‘As part of the project proposal, our design service graphically conceptualised the flooring within the interior, simulating every detail of the user experience so that the client could visualise the end result. By specifying a combination of glue-down and loose lay formats, we have been able to provide the triple benefits of a practical durable surface, bespoke design and superior acoustic benefits.’

With a paired-back scheme in shades of warm grey and natural biophilic elements in tune with the building and its locality, the bespoke floor features a clean look of poured concrete alongside a statement 3D tile effect. Turner says: ‘It was clear that the design of the tenth and 11th mezzanine floors had to start and finish with the spectacular views across central London. It was important that the interior should not distract from what lies outside the windows but feel at one with the skyline. This defined how the space was split into different activity zones, how we orientated seating and also set the colour palette.’

The multidimensional pattern of Cubix from Karndean’s Kaleidoscope range has been created with three shades of grey from the Opus range: Mico, Luna and Ombra. The aim was to utilise these geometric lines to bring the co-working area to life, introducing interest and depth to balance the clean angles of the bold contemporary building.

Sitting alongside this working zone, Quebec from the Karndean LooseLay range has been used to create a restful seating area and walkway to the board room at the rear of the mezzanine. Opting for extra-large scale tiles (1,000×1,000mm) in a block pattern has resulted in a realistic poured concrete effect.

With sustainability a key priority, many of the existing features were repurposed and upcycled within the new design. The large back bar has been remodelled as a kitchenette, painted in charcoal grey to harmonise with the black industrial staircase, while some of the lighting has been reused and other joinery reinvented within co-working stations. The durability of the flooring is integral to meeting the project’s sustainability targets too. Using a loose lay format along the main walkway, where wear and tear is heaviest, is an effective strategy as each tile can be relifted and replaced if necessary, reducing waste over the lifespan of the interior.

Turner added: ‘The floor was the key element for the mezzanine level. We are delighted how the Cubix introduces a sense of fun and breaks up the huge floor space with an interesting pattern yet also links together all the elements of the colour palette without overpowering the overall effect. The mezzanine floor now feels comfortable despite being a large open area and, the more time you spend there, the calmer and more positive you feel.’ www.karndean.com

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