Home-based working is on the rise, triggering businesses across the country to overhaul their offices to facilitate hybrid working patterns and offer environments that better ignite creativity compared to a traditional layouts.
In 2021, Ward Robinson Architects was appointed to support True Potential LLP, an award-winning group of financial services and technology companies based in Newcastle and London, to redesign its Newcastle headquarters. The objective was to use design to enable organisational growth, accommodate a reduced office-based team and allow for a more collaborative working environment.
The architectural team was tasked with creating a ‘home from home’ feel, with a wider variety of work settings and an increased amount of welfare facilities on site, so employees can choose a workspace that best suits their individual needs. However, the colour scheme used across the setting needed to be consistent so that no matter where an employee chooses to work for the day, they feel tied into the organisation’s brand.
Ward Robinson had used Polyflor’s Expona Simplay range across its multiple office refurbishments for True Potential in previous years, so knew of its high durability and ease of maintenance – which makes it perfect for a workplace setting.
With designs including a versatile ‘central hub’ in the middle of the office, a café space and relaxing spots, it was important for the flooring – installed by contractor Johnson Wright Flooring – to be easily cut to mould around the various installations and to tie in seamlessly with the carpet coverings selected for different zones in the space. In the form of a loose lay luxury vinyl tile with the same depth as carpet tiles, Expona Simplay’s qualities lent themselves perfectly to the project.
Additionally, Expona Simplay can be installed over existing sub-floors without the need for adhesive due to its unique, non-skid honeycomb backing layer which ensures that tiles stay in position, making it quicker and easier to fit.
Expona Simplay’s environmental credentials are also impressive, having achieved a generic BRE A+ rating in major use areas and Indoor Air Comfort Gold, assuring that VOC emissions are below any globally determined levels. It is also 100% recyclable and contains an average of 20% recycled content.
On the Newcastle HQ refurb specifically, Ward Robinson opted to specify Grey Ash in the office’s café space, and Light Grey Concrete across the remainder of the project, synonymous with the industrial scheme across the space. Both shades tap into the True Potential brand colour palette and create the high-end feel the architects were striving for by perfectly replicating the beauty of natural wood and stone.
Ian Price, Technical Sales Consultant for Polyflor, said: “Ward Robinson’s design and fit out at True Potential is the definition of a smart and agile workspace; it provides a variety of work settings which are congruent to collaboration, creativity and productivity, and the finishing touches selected for the space really reflect the True Potential brand identity.
“The use of Expona Simplay in these two complementary grey shades equally work to zone the space into distinct areas, and partner to achieve consistency in colour across the whole space. The durable qualities of Expona Simplay make it perfect for an office setting that is set to experience fluctuating footfall, while its ease of maintenance will ensure it retains its premium look for a long time to come.”
ˇ Contemporary aesthetics replicating natural wood and stone
ˇ Highly durable – perfect for commercial settings
ˇ Loose lay vinyl tile makes installation quicker and easier
ˇ Features a layer of polyurethane reinforcement for easy cleaning and maintenance