This is a guest post by Abby Chandler, Marketing Manager at Heckmondwike, looking at the use of zoning in flooring design.
Open plan spaces continue their popularity for offices, schools and colleges, with architects looking for clever ways to create demarcation without partitions and barriers. This is where specifiers are using carpet creatively to achieve their aspirations.
Originally used as a means of designating uses of land by local authorities, zoning is now just as likely to be found in modern interior design for commercial and educational buildings. Not only is this approach easy on the eye, it has been found to engage young people and create a stimulating learning environment by simply communicating what the purpose or expectation is in a particular area.
With fibre bonded carpets long being a firm favourite for education environments, due to their ability to absorb sound and be extremely hardwearing, plus the fact that they don’t ravel or fray, this type of carpet is now being used to their best advantage to create superbly designed ‘zones’.
Specifiers working on educational projects have also have recognised how school layouts can influence a child’s development by as much as 25 per cent, while opening up unique design opportunities too. Studies carried out across seven primary schools in Blackpool by the University of Salford and architects firm Nightingale Associates indicated that zoning can help to create harmonious environments which are conducive to learning.
Malcolm Arnold Academy in Northampton has taken advantage of the trend towards zoning. Here, carpet was used in different colours and designs to separate adjacent spaces from a visual point of view – such as a seating area next to a high-traffic walkway. This helped to define the purpose of various spaces within the school and create a visually appealing interior environment.
In the office sector too, innovative carpet design is being used to indicate walkways, meeting spaces or chill-out areas – thus achieving its purposes of clearly reinforcing the purpose of an area and separating it from others – through the floor!
So, separation can be less these days about barriers, partitions and walls, but more about colour and carpet. By clever use of zoning techniques, specifiers are creating fresh, dynamic and appealing working environments for employees and pupils, which are proving to have a positive impact on both.