Combining form & function for Olympic floor

by Tania Wannenburg

Unique and innovative flooring products were used to enhance the floors in an Olympic Centre’s lobby and music hall.

The building designed for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, by Zaha Hadid resulted in a magnificent architectural feat of organic lines and golden hues that married a futuristic, eye-catching aesthetic with high-end performance characteristics.

The highly stylised design of the Youth Olympic Centre has been hailed as one of the most complex constructions in China since the Bird’s Nest Stadium was built in 2003. To meet the high standards of this development, a floor in the lobby was required, along with one in the music hall, with the aim to impress visitors while reliably withstanding the substantial levels of foot traffic that it would be exposed to.

The seamless, solvent-free, epoxy-resin terrazzo floor finish, Mondéco Earth, was personally selected by Zaha for the project. This system incorporates granite and flint aggregates and is ideal for environments where hygiene, appearance and durability are of paramount importance.

Flowcrete’s Mondéco Earth system was designed to provide architects with the flexibility to create bespoke, shimmering designs throughout a large-scale commercial venue’s floor area. Consequently, Zaha used this aesthetic potential in the lobby area to create a smooth, almond-coloured surface with an eye-catching arrangement of rich brown squares that are dynamically dispersed across the floor.

In turn, the floor finish matched the colour and pattern of the surrounding walls and roof, artistically connecting the interior spaces and reinforcing the building’s fluid design style. The shimmering aggregates within the floor’s resin matrix also added to the effect by creating a luxurious, glittering lustre underfoot.

With regard to the colour range, customised aggregates and application techniques of the Mondéco range provide clients with complete freedom of design. The artistic potential of the Mondéco range is most effectively exemplified in the centre’s music hall, where the lines on the floor flow seamlessly onto the walls and up onto the ceiling.

Besides its visual benefits, Mondéco Earth’s incredibly robust formulation makes it suitable for highly trafficked areas such as airports and railway stations, shopping centres, hotels and restaurants.

The Nanjing Youth Olympic Centre, which had to be completed within a strict time scale, required a total of 1 700m2 of the attractive terrazzo flooring system that was laid in the lobby area and another 1 900m2 that was applied in the music hall.

This system is easy to clean and maintain due to its joint-free finish, with no cracks or crevices to harbour dirt or dust. The solution also boasts excellent abrasion, impact and scratch resistance, making it ideal for a building that needs to maintain a luxurious appearance despite large numbers of visitors.

Seamless terrazzo flooring has an outstanding record for durability and performance. With correct care and maintenance the floor will typically last or even outlast the lifetime of the structure in which it resides. In short, Flowcrete’s premier decorative flooring range is able to offer unrivalled levels of design flexibility and longevity.

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