Flooring Focus: Project: Newydd Housing Association, South Wales.

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

Words By Toby Maxwell

FORBO Flooring Systems’ contemporary range of floor coverings were specified by Cardiff-based furniture and lighting supplier Momentum to create a vibrant hybrid working space for Newydd Housing Association. Forbo’s Tessera carpet tiles, Allura luxury vinyl tiles, Coral entrance flooring system and Surestep safety flooring were all used.

Founded in 1974, Newydd Housing Association is a charitable housing association that offers 3,000 affordable homes for rent and sale. With properties based around south and mid-Wales, the association aims to help those with the greatest need to find a home. Momentum worked with the housing association to refurbish its existing office spaces to create an environment suited to a new hybrid style of working.

Momentum designed the whole refurbishment and specified all the materials used. Rhian Worgan, interior designer at Momentum, says: ‘After securing the tender for the design of Newydd’s offices, we were asked to create a space that supported and inspired the new hybrid way of working that many offices have adopted post-Covid. Newydd really wanted to achieve a flexible and adaptable environment, so that any future changes could be made at minimal cost and with little disruption.

The space was envisioned to support new ways of hybrid working

‘One of the first things they had asked us to do was to remove any designated areas for teams or individuals. This was to encourage the sharing of information between staff in collaborative spaces. We replaced these areas with zones that supported a variety of tasks, like desk work, formal and informal meetings, brainstorming and more. The idea behind the whole design and layout of the office was that the employees would choose the area that supported the task at hand on any given day.’

However, it wasn’t just the zoning of the office that was important. Newydd wanted a workspace that was warm, vibrant and welcoming for its employees, so Worgan spent a lot of time finding the right way to subtly incorporate the branding that represented Newydd’s ethos and values: ‘For me, it was really important [that] we got the colours we used right. We really wanted to make this a space that employees could explore their creativity and problem solving in and not a traditional, bland workspace. For this reason, it was key to find the right colours and materials to convey this feeling. This was part of the reason I specified Forbo’s flooring. There’s such a wide range of products, I knew there would be something that would fit what we were looking for.’

Forbo’s Tessera Chroma and Cloudscape carpet tiles made up the majority of the flooring space across the threefloor office building. Worgan says: ‘I really like Forbo’s Tessera carpet tiles, as they have this beautiful naturally inspired palette that complemented our design plan.

Dedicated call rooms were each painted with different colourways

‘We used the Tessera Cloudscape in Grey Dawn extensively across all three floors in the circulation areas and for one of the meeting rooms, due to their thick pile height and sound reduction qualities. It also has this beautiful mixture of greys that create a serene feeling to the floor. We used this product alongside Forbo’s Tessera Chroma in the Chanterelle colourway in the main office space, using the Cloudscape tiles to create geometric shapes embedded into the larger flooring scheme.

‘We then used Tessera Chroma in the Pasture, Nautical, Blossom and Mineral colourways. These were installed in the different meeting pods and dedicated call rooms where we matched them to the paint scheme on the walls. It just added this pop of colour, which broke up the greys used in the circulation areas and main office space.’

Forbo’s Allura LVT was specified across the refurbishment and was laid in a herringbone pattern. Worgan explained: ‘We specified Forbo’s Allura planks to break up the carpet tiles we had already used quite heavily across the scheme. We needed something that we could install easily and wouldn’t look out of place in the eating areas. We went for the Light Honey Oak colourway as it is very light and has a lovely grain embossing to it.’

With the hybrid nature of Newydd’s office, it expected to see a lot of footfall, so it was important that an entrance flooring system was installed to protect the interior floor coverings, by preventing dirt and moisture from being brought inside. Worgan says: ‘We also had Forbo’s Coral entrance flooring system installed in the front entrance in the Shark Grey colourway, which complemented the Allura LVT installed in the foyer nicely. Having an effective entrance flooring system meant the rest of the office would stay looking better for longer, something which is important for an office where people are being encouraged to move around and work in a hybrid fashion.’ www.forboflooring.co.uk

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