When Armitage Associates was asked to mastermind the £16 million refurbishment of the landmark five-storey Glasgow Royal Infirmary University Tower, the architects preferred to specify linoleum wherever possible.
Jeremy Armitage, partner in the Glasgow-based architectural and interior design practice, said: “We wanted to use linoleum. The reasons were simple: it’s available in good colours, it’s a ‘green’ material and is naturally biocidal.”
International vinyl and linoleum flooring specialists Gerflor supplied 4,000m² of Marmorette from the DLW Linoleum range for the building, which hosts a mixture of laboratories, offices and medical teaching facilities for the hospital and Glasgow University. The facade of the 1970s building was changed to allow much more light into the previously “claustrophobic” interior and the Marmorette was used to create visual appeal and identification.
Jeremy Armitage said: “We used the linoleum as a design tool throughout. Each floor had alternating four metre wide stripes of light and dark gray, slightly offset, running across it regardless of walls and spaces.” He added: “The lift lobby on each floor had a way finding bright colour, such as green, interrupting the two grays and that colour was repeated elsewhere on the floor.”
Despite being invented in the 1800s, linoleum could have been created specifically for 21st century designers. Available in a range of eye-catching colours and choice of surface treatments to reduce cleaning and virtually eliminate polishing, DLW Linoleum’s best-sellers Marmorette and Colorette have:
• impeccable environmental credentials, because they’re made of natural, mostly renewable, raw materials such as cork, jute and linseed oil;
• anti-bacterial properties and are hygienic and easy to clean;
• a long lifespan;
Usually specified in the health and education sectors, as well as for retail and office environments, the surface of DLW Linoleum is coated in a choice of protective layers. The PUR Eco System, specified on this contract, forms a strong bond with the linoleum to create a permanently durable, abrasion-resistant surface with enhanced resistance to chemicals and staining and is often used in
areas where cleaning is frequent and aggressive. Marmorette is available in three thicknesses, 2mm, 2.5mm, and 3.2mm, and has 51 choices in its palette, while Colorette is bright, vibrant and slightly textured in 23 colours in depths of 2.5mm and 3.2mm. As well as being slip, flame and heat resistant, both ranges have acoustic options.
Kenny Smith, contracts director at MacGregor Flooring Company Ltd of Hamilton, said the fitters had enjoyed the test of laying the alternating stripe pattern across whole floors interrupted by many walls.
He said: “It was one of the most challenging jobs we have done, laying 40 metre lengths through several rooms at a slight angle. We spent a lot of time taking measurements to make sure it was perfect from one room to the next.”
Also specified were 500m² of Tarasafe™ Ultra, low maintenance, high-hygiene slip resistant safety flooring for toilet and changing areas, and 200m² of Taradouche Elegance SD studded slip resistant safety flooring for barefoot wet areas.
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