Project Review – Fairway Hotel and Spa

by Darren
Belgotex architects preference Jnl 2 14

We investigate an architect’s preferences for certain products and what drives their selection process.

2014 will be the year that dbm architects celebrates its 11th anniversary since its inception under the name dbm architects (jhb) in 2003 when Wynand du Plessis resigned as a senior partner from Boogertman Krige Architects to start the Gauteng practice. Deon Moolman joined him from Dubai in January 2004 and is currently in charge of the dbm Pretoria office.

The name of the firm was envisioned several years ago when Wynand du Plessis, Leon Barnard and Deon Moolman were young architects at the beginning of their careers. It was at this stage that they agreed to a possible future professional collaboration under the name dbm, which was finally realised in 2003.

Since then dbm architects has grown from strength to strength with an impressive list of completed projects propelling them into a practice with significant experience in and knowledge of the industry, while driven by a passion for what they do.

One such passionate employee is Ilze Theart, Senior Architectural Interior Designer. Her primary role is to compile all the specifications for each project, from the foundations right through to the roof while also taking responsibility for all the interior design requirements of all the projects. One such project included the Fairway Hotel and Spa. It is a 5-star development overlooking the famous Randpark Golf Course and is situated just north-east of the clubhouse. The hotel also hosted the Brazilian Soccer Team during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.


Ilze highlights that she specified Belgotex Commercial’s Westminster inside the hotel bedrooms. “ It is solution dyed nylon making it bleach resistant and durable for hotel applications.”

Ilze adds that Westminster takes commercial flooring to new heights of opulence and elegance and is an elegant wall to wall, cut pile commercial carpet that offers lush softness underfoot. It also offers a range of unique colours offering variety and greater choice of options for projects while also providing unrivalled sound absorption properties. Westminster is Silvercare treated by Belgotex, making it the healthier choice for rooms.

For the hotel’s passages, Ilze adds that they relied on the imported Balsan range, also through Belgotex Commercial. This range is available as a result of Belgotex Commercials’ exclusive partnership with French broadloom and carpet tile manufacturer Balsan, which has major advantages for architects, designers and property developers working especially within the hospitality market.

“Price played a role in terms of the decision to import the Balsan range, which was cost effective. “By using the Balsan product in passages, we eliminated the possibility of imprints being left behind by suitcase wheels.”

The Balsan range specified was Design Concept, an elegant range of cut pile carpet, dense and robust where innovation and quality are combined to play the card of high personalisation. It was created to become the new aesthetic expression of textile floors.


“Belgotex provides me with a complete service offering, from beginning to end,” highlights Ilze. “Two factors result in us always going back to Belgotex: firstly, their product offering; and secondly, their client service. The  representative calling on an architect plays a significant role in whether a certain product is even considered. It is very frustrating when you have more knowledge on a product than the representative, and when that person doesn’t have a passion for what they do. Passion drives performance.”

Ilze goes on to say that she often goes to a company directly, to try and eliminate the middle-man. However, that is not the case with Belgotex as their representatives exude passion and always deliver.

Ilze highlights that technical specifications play a big role when using a product for the first time. “I also research previous projects where the product was used, and do site visits,” she continues. “For example, the Fairway Hotel required a carpet that is durable and stain-resistant, while the passages have to handle heavy traffic. Choosing a product is also very budget-driven, and if the budget isn’t met, then the project won’t go ahead and may even be cancelled, which will let the client down.”

Another crucial element used by Ilze when selecting products for a project is media. “I use specialist magazines like FLOORS in Africa to learn about all the new trends,” she says. “They are also my window to all the international trade shows and exhibitions that introduce and highlight new products.”


Ilze explains that she has a few favourite Belgotex products, but her choice is always dependent on budget. “If I have a budget that allows me more financial leeway, then I would use Westminster, especially in boardrooms. Wall Street is also one of my favourites as it offers a stylish combination of looks, extreme performance and, because we work on several residential units, I will also often use Obsession,an upmarket, deep–pile Saxony carpet, Royal Twist, which offers subtle, neutral shades and 100% Stainproof SDX. I also use ZigZag for office applications, which is a stunning product and comes in at a very similar price range as Berber Point 650. Carpet tiles are perfect for office applications and can easily be replaced if a tile gets damaged.”

ZigZag from Belgotex is a non-woven graphics velour carpet that is a 100% stainproof miracle fibre (polypropylene) that offers superior stain resistance and high resilience. It also has several corporate colours to choose from and is available with both ResinBac and NexBac Eco backing, which makes it a good choice for her.

Ilze goes on to explain that all carpeted areas (open plan, cellular offices and passages) will be treated with Zig Zag Back line carpet tiles (tessellated). This is a commercial grade carpet that is designed for use in high traffic areas whilst having a more contemporary, seamless aesthetic. The arrow-like pattern on the carpet ties in to the broader theme of moving forward, which also inspired dbm architects to use this product in corporate environments.

The fibre technology used for Berber Point 650 is Belgotex Commercial 100% stainproof miracle fibre. As such, it is easy to clean, but also has low moisture absorbency and high abrasion resistance.

Ilze concludes that she always refers back to her sample library when looking for a specific product at a specific price that performs in a specific manner. “That is why I rely on Belgotex as they are always speedy to deliver on my request for samples, which drives my research and knowledge on product selection.”

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