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Vibrant flooring brightens contemporary workplace

A selection of floorcoverings from Forbo Flooring Systems, said to combine aesthetics, functionality, and exceptional performance, has reportedly helped Maze Workplace create a dynamic and flexible Next Generation Workspace for Insight Direct’s new office in Manchester.

Global IT solutions company, Insight Direct has relocated from an existing office in Salford, to a smaller, but more central 9,000sq ft premises in Manchester.

The new office space offers employees a contemporary mix of alternative coworking environments and includes open plan hotdesking for 44 people, arranged in smaller ‘neighbourhoods’, two hot offices, five meeting rooms, two open/soft meeting areas as well as a wellbeing room and a large games area.

This is the latest project Maze Workplace has delivered for Insight Direct in collaboration with fit-out company Office Principles and follows an earlier fitout of the company’s Uxbridge office.

Kate Weston, senior interior designer at Maze Workplace said: ‘The design brief was to create an open-plan office that drew inspiration from Insight’s Next Gen workspace in Uxbridge, but to adapt it to the requirements of the Manchester based teams. Although there’s a significant reduction in the number of fixed desks than their previous office in Salford, the new office features more than 30 alternative work settings in the form of dining booths, focus rooms for quiet working, work benches, a collaboration area, training area with tiered seating and a large, flexible breakout area for all-hands meetings.

‘Both colour and texture have played an integral part of the interior design. The client’s brand colours are very strong, so this forms a major part of the concept,’ continued Kate. ‘The team wanted to reflect the urban materials that surround the site with concrete textures as well as other architectural materials. The client is very keen to create each of its offices as a development of its past projects, not a carbon copy. This allows us to play with finishes and materials to create something that’s one of a kind.’

The office’s urban location is represented throughout by Maze Workplace’s clever and creative choice of products. This is clear as soon as you enter the office, particularly in the reception area. Here Forbo’s Allura luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) have been used to visually connect the outside pavement area with the interior of the building, by using a concrete aesthetic.

Kate explained: ‘We used Forbo’s Allura in the warm concrete dots colourway in the reception area, which added a nod to the urban location and offered something different from the standard ‘concrete’ look.’

Says Forbo: ‘Warm underfoot and easy to maintain, Allura LVT provides exceptional dimensional stability, strength, and performance, making it the perfect solution for high traffic reception areas.’

The dark vintage gym floor, featuring coloured confetti blocks, from Forbo’s custom vinyl wood range has been used to create what’s described as a vibrant, contemporary look in the kitchen, breakout spaces and the individual focus and meeting rooms. The different colour blocks within the flooring reportedly tie in perfectly with Direct Insight’s strong brand colours and the various furnishings used throughout each of the different areas.

Kate said: ‘The client team loved the unusual and playful nature of the vintage gym floorcovering and we used the blue tone to harmonise with the brand colours.’

Says the company: ‘Forbo’s vinyl wood range utilises high definition printing technology to create realistic wood-like floors in various colour and plank structures for a modern, contemporary, rustic or authentic look, while still meeting the functional demands of the differing applications.’

The company continues: ‘What’s more, Forbo’s Sphera Energetic homogenous vinyl flooring in the vivid morning dew colourway has been installed in the kitchen, ensuring the design capabilities weren’t compromised by the performance and functionality requirements. Sphera’s vivid range features 11 colourways with chips of two accent colours for a bold and contemporary feel, while the uniquely embossed surface offers an easy to clean and maintain solution that resists stains and scratches, making it the perfect floorcovering for the office’s kitchen area.’

Kate concluded: ‘The main criteria for selecting flooring for different working environments was primarily aesthetics and colour, but of course, quality and performance. The entire project has been very popular with the staff. In fact, the office has often been ‘full’ which as a designer is amazing to hear – especially in these post-Covid-19 times.’

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