We find out how one interior architecture practice went about ensuring a successful flooring installation for a truly unique and demanding building project.

As a company that takes great pride in unlocking the maximum efficiencies of space, Ink Design Lab(INK) places a significant focus on offering meaningful, measured and inspired design solutions appropriate to a client’s needs, culture and brand.

INK is an award-winning design consultancy with a team of highly skilled and qualified professionals, with their core competencies focused on architecture, interior design and interior architecture, space planning, and office furniture procurement solutions.

Ink Design Lab was employed as space planners, interior architects and interior designers for this project. In addition, INK assisted the client with the procurement of the furniture. The client wanted an appropriate solution for their office, influenced by the textures and familiar colours of the African landscape.

What was also very important to the client was to create an open, light-filled welcoming place for staff and the public, as a fair part of the office space would be used by the public. The first phase started in 2011 and was completed in 2013. INK is currently busy with the project’s second phase, which will add 2 000m² of usable office space to the building.

According to George Boorsma, this eight-storey building is roughly 28 000m² with 17 000m² of usable office space. “The building is quite complex because it has auditoriums, large boardrooms, press facilities, sound-recording studios and several technical facilities,” he continues. “When specifying a flooring product, it needs to be correct for the intended use. For example, in high-traffic areas, one would look for a hardwearing product that is able to withstand heavy wear, along with a colour that doesn’t easily show dirt and is practical at the same time.”

INK pays a lot of attention to the selection of colours, using neutral colours as a backdrop. Lisebo Mokhesi is of the opinion that the neutral colours give one the freedom to explore accent colours, and to structure the space using colour at strategic points. A lot of colour was used, but in a way which did not compromise the maturity and professionalism of the office.

Continuing on the topic of specification, Lisebo says that they generally specify with cost in mind. “At INK we are usually driven by price first. We will go and find the best carpet in the price range that best suits the budget. We also make choices within the discipline of the design concept agreed, so we specify based on the most suitable colour and texture. Budgets are usually tight, so you need to be inventive in the way you use materials”.

Belgotex Commercial Carpeting
For this particular project, INK was intent on using South African products and also products which are produced using “green” principles. “Preferably, one should source locally produced materials. The closer the product is to the place where it will be installed, the less strain it puts on our fragile earth,” highlights George.

Lisebo continues that they specified Berber Point 920 NexBac Eco in the colour Painted Desert for the general office spaces, as it is a “green” product that is easy to specify due to the fact that Belgotex had already done their homework on its green attributes. “Belgotex green carpets are well priced, well stocked, accessible and the brand can be trusted,” she explains. “For these reasons we consider Belgotex a leader in green-rated products that emit low VOCs.”

Berber Point 920 is considered the undisputed heavyweight champion, especially as it now offers recycled content. There is a choice of 27 colours, all with recycled content, with seven new colours to choose from. In addition, Berber Point 920 is an attractive, resilient solution for any commercial, eco-friendly flooring application. Its durability and hardwearing performance continues to be proven worldwide, and it is available in broadloom or as convenient ResinBac or NexBac Eco carpet tiles.

Broadloom carpets were installed in the boardrooms, for a plusher, executive look. INK used a combination of two carpets in some boardrooms, namely Art Deco with a Westminster border. These were then cut and installed in the boardrooms to create the desired customised look.

ART DECO – its bold linear design provides a cutting-edge look to any interior. The colours that make up ART DECO are in sync with international trends, and the Stainproof SDX (Solution Dyed Nylon) ensures that this unique design will always look fresh, even in high-traffic areas.

Continuing with carpet design, George commented. “With regard to the flooring installed, we created a route on each floor plate using a combination of two colours from Berber Point 920, namely “Senegal” and “Painted Desert”, and this route relates to how people use the building and the most efficient way to move through the building. If someone is walking from point A to point B, he would be guided on this route by making use of various patterns on the carpets. These routes also fit in perfectly with this idea of texture that we wanted to create by means of colour and pattern usage.”

INK used Belgotex’s FIFTH AVENUE for the executive wing, a tufted carpet tile range that has an interesting woven cloth-like texture. INK specified two colours, namely Prada as the base colour and Chanel as the inlay. According to Lisebo, this was a slightly more plush carpet. “The idea was to work with their 50 x 50 modular tiles and place them in a manner that creates pattern, texture and colour en route,” she says.

FIFTH AVENUE 50cm x 50cm NexBac Eco carpet tiles are manufactured from 100% Stainproof SDX (Solution Dyed Nylon). FIFTH AVENUE NexBac Eco carpet tiles must be tessellated at installation and laid in accordance with the SANS 10186 fitting code of practice. Carpet protector mats are advised where castor wheels are used.

The auditorium flooring installed at Tshedimosetso House was Belgotex’s CUBE² range. It is described as a contemporary yet practical carpet tile that will complement any modern business environment. CUBE² creates a softer “circuitboard” look for more subtle and repetitive patterned designs in eight colours. CUBE² is made of 100% Stainproof Miracle Fibre (Polypropylene) which offers superior stain resistance and is considered ideal for high-traffic areas such as lobbies or walkways to lifts. The individual commercial carpet tiles are easily replaceable, ensuring even wear and helping to keep floors looking stylish and presentable.

Why Belgotex Commercial?
As already noted, INK turns to Belgotex as it is a trusted brand that has excelled in offering products that can proudly boast green composition, which is critical when trying to achieve a sustainable project. “We try to find those new products and see which ones give us the edge,” notes George. “Even if a product is used by several industry players, it’s all about how it is used, colour selections, etc. Once we have decided on a product to use, we then make contact with a representative from Belgotex and request samples this is where Belgotex distinguishes itself from the rest.”

He continues that Belgotex representatives are extremely quick to respond to requests for samples, needed in an industry with tight deadlines and time constraints. “We are extremely busy,” George says. “so we rely heavily on Belgotex, as they are highly professional and they support us.”

Favourite Products
“Westminster is an old favourite of ours,” states Lisebo. “It is not ridiculously expensive, it’s simple to use, and has a colour range that is truly exceptional. It is a good-looking product and can be used in an office or a home, boardrooms, etc.”

Westminster from Belgotex is an elegant cut-pile carpet that offers plush softness underfoot and superior sound-absorption properties. It comprises 100% Stainproof Solution Dyed Nylon, and is ideal for commercial and heavy use. It also offers a 7mm pile height with a total thickness of 9.5mm.

Another favourite is Fifth Avenue, which Lisebo states is beautiful and has an exceptionally refined look. “We pushed the client hard in terms of design, but we have to, it’s our job,” she continues. “In any area, we try as far as possible to be honest in terms of our product usage. The product must be fit for purpose with the necessary warranties that offer peace of mind.”

George concludes by adding that the Belgotex showroom provides the designer with the opportunity to see their products laid down, as opposed to just seeing a little swatch. “At the end of the day, as much as we are interested in a company and how it services the industry, we’re more interested in a product – the reason we turn to Belgotex. Their products are well priced, versatile and offer exceptional value.”