Forbo Flooring - refurbishment

H AVING used FORBO FLOORING SYSTEMS Marmoleum collection in the original build of the Core building, the Eden Project called on the ‘durable, sustainable’ floorcovering once more to reinvigorate the recent refurbishment of the area.

 After years of constant use with about 1m visitors a year, the Core building at the heart of Cornwall’s popular visitor attraction, the Eden Project, underwent a major transformation and a new exhibition, Invisible Worlds, was installed. Invisible Worlds reveals the world beyond our senses: too big, too small, too fast, too slow, too far away in space and time.

Dr Jo Elworthy, director of interpretation at the Eden Project explained: ‘The Eden Project connects us with each other and the living world, and our site is filled with stories of how people are working towards a positive future and how we can all get involved.

‘This is projected in everything that we do; from our exhibitions, artworks and events to the products that we serve in our cafés and the materials we use in the buildings themselves.

‘When we first built the Core in 2005, we wanted to create a sustainable space, so this meant using responsibly sourced materials. We approached Forbo as we wished to showcase environmentally-friendly, sustainable flooring made from natural materials – and Marmoleum seemed like the perfect fit on all levels.

‘As the existing Marmoleum floors had fared so well over the years, we went back to Forbo when we were looking to refresh the building. Again, we needed a floorcovering that was made from renewable raw materials, PVC-free, low emitting and carbon neutral, yet would be able to withstand the heavy footfall of visitors that we get each year.’

Neutral colourways in Eiger and Calico from the Marmoleum Real range were chosen for spaces in the reimagined Core building including the new Invisible Worlds exhibition gallery, the Deep Roots and New Shoots (grandparents and children) workshop area, the children’s play areas and the Invisible Worlds café.

The natural underfoot feel of Marmoleum is said to provide visitors with a comfortable walking surface and its resilient surface means the flooring can be easily maintained.

Jo continued: ‘One main reason we were interested in Marmoleum was because the product is made of plants and natural materials. Ingredients such as linseed oil, wood flour, jute and limestone are all used during the manufacturing process – all of which minimise impact on the environment. What’s more, marmoleum is biodegradable at the end of its life.’

In addition, Marmoleum Decibel in Beton, Volcanic Ash and Dove Grey were installed in the Invisible Worlds laboratory. Eden’s scientists use the laboratory to explore some secrets of the Invisible World with a rolling programme of talks, showcases and workshops, so it’s important noise from these activities doesn’t disturb other visitors within the Core building.

Claimed to provide the highest reduction of impact sound by 18dB, Marmoleum Decibel’s acoustic performance is achieved by laminating 2.5mm Marmoleum onto a 1mm thick layer of polyolefin foam, helping keep noise levels to a minimum.

Chris Bisson, Invisible Worlds lab manager said: ‘Forbo’s Marmoleum Decibel has been great for our Invisible Worlds Lab areas. The product is easy to clean, looks smart and prevents lots of noise from our experiments escaping into the rest of the building. It really is fantastic.’

Forbo’s Marmoleum collection is said to naturally become even more durable over time, owing to the ongoing oxidisation of a key natural raw material, linseed oil, making it suitable for heavy traffic environments.

Awarded the prestigious Allergy UK Seal of approval, it reportedly won’t harbour dust mites, contributing to a better indoor environment for all. As the only naturally CO2 neutral flooring, Marmoleum is claimed to be a genuine, authentic floor and is said to be the best choice for every sustainable interior. Invisible Worlds is supported by the Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England, the Wolfson Foundation and the Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation.