“The trend for open plan design in new office developments looks set to continue with partitions and barriers rapidly becoming a thing of the past and new layouts aimed at encouraging greater team working and accommodating flexible working.
Whether we love it or hate it, hot-desking looks set to stay and the growing use of laptops and mobile devices means that there is often no need to be restricted to one physical location. Flexibility also means allowing people to work where they are most needed in a business, or where they feel most effective.
Building designers and specifiers therefore face the challenge of having to create office workspaces that allow for productive working, with comfort and practicality, whilst also providing demarcation and a clear sense of purpose. How to do that without erecting barriers and partitions is the crucial question and here designers are specifying innovative colour choices for carpet that create clearly identifiable zones, as well as adding interest and an element of design to the floor space.
At The Wallis Building in Nottingham, for example, a workspace for new high technology and digital businesses was given a contemporary and eyecatching look through the use of Array fibre bonded carpet tiles complemented by Broadrib.
The style of the office is open plan, yet accommodates a large number of small businesses, so colour was used for demarcation and clearly identifying the purpose of an area.
Array is a very popular range within our creative flooring collection to which six exciting new colours have recently been added to reflect the latest trends in furniture colours. The Array tile chosen on the project has a striking lime green surface pattern throughout, which perfectly complements the Broadrib in Willow, which was laid in contrasting stripes throughout the ground floor area. The result is an attractive, modern working environment, with clearly defined zones to suit different needs of its users.
In the flexible, modern office environment, acoustics are also important, especially when it comes to multi-occupancy buildings. The Broadrib and Array ranges, for example, offer sound deadening properties that helps to reduce noise pollution, therefore creating a harmonious working environment.
Zoning is an effective and increasingly popular way of achieving demarcation without barriers in offices and other open plan spaces. Increasingly interior designers are choosing floor and wall coverings as a way to mark out specific areas within an office building, promoting the need for quiet work and private discussions, as well as encouraging the open communication and team working for which open-plan offices are renowned.
On another recent project, ECE Architecture, based in West Sussex specified Broadrib and Array carpet tiles as part of the refurbishment of Portland House, an office building for Adur and Worthing Council.
The project involved the supply of over 2,000m2 of Heckmondwike carpet tiles. This included specifying Array fibre bonded carpet in purple, which was complemented by Broadrib in purple and Array in blue, which co-ordinated with Broadrib in blue. On this project, the accent colours were used to define the walkways around the perimeter of offices and for demarcation of the fire exits, as well as to add design and detailing. The architects on this project chose Array carpet as it can be complemented by the accent colours of blue and purple. The accent colours clearly marked the large open plan work areas into zones for ease of navigating the building, as well as breaking up large areas of flooring and adding an extra element of design.
As the trend towards flexible working continues, specifiers and interior designers are increasingly looking for vibrant accent colours that create a clear distinction in the flooring for specific work areas, whilst also complementing more muted tones. The result is aesthetically pleasing interiors which maintain productivity and encourage team working whilst making the most of available space and resources.”
Sample cards for Array and Broadrib are available on request by calling +44  1924 406161 or visiting the website www.heckmondwike-fb.co.uk.