Projects Review – Fragomen and Matuson & Associates

by Darren
Belgo Project review Jnl 5 14

Discover designers’ specific commercial carpet preferences and the reasoning behind these choices.

Since its inception in 2006, Tower Bridge has built a solid reputation in the industry as a company that understands the ever-increasing need for efficient and effective use of space. It prides itself on practising intelligent interior architecture by providing smart design solutions that are able to create brand synergy between a client’s vision, their people and the available space.

Tower Bridge provides complete design services, from project development to project management and specifying materials, furnishings, fixtures and products that are appropriate for the requested project. As a result, an environment is achieved that not only visually delights but also relates to the client’s specific needs.

“We are a full turnkey company,” enthuses Samantha Cloake, Senior Designer at Tower Bridge. “Our policy is such that when we refurbish or renovate a commercial building, the client must be able to just move in, as is.”

Tower Bridge has offices in Johannesburg, Pretoria, KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town and Mauritius. Its facilities were originally based only in Johannesburg, which clearly indicates its significant growth in a very short period of time, so much so that it is currently involved in a prominent project in Mauritius. “The Directors’ vision from the outset was to grow the company,” adds Samantha. “In terms of functionality, our sales representatives bring in all the work, while we sell the design.”

Belgotex Commercial Carpeting

Tower Bridge uses Belgotex products on many of their projects but the two predominate projects for the focus of this article are Fragomen, a leading global corporate immigration law firm, and Matuson & Associates, a firm of senior business and consulting professionals.

According to Samantha, Tower Bridge specified Berber Point and ZIG ZAG Backline for Fragomen’s offices. ZIG ZAG Backline was installed in their boardrooms, while Berber Point 920 Storm was specified for their open-plan spaces.

Berber Point is offered in the form of Berber Point 650, Berber Point 920 and Berber Point Fusion. Berber Point 920 is considered a heavyweight champion and offers a choice of 27 colours (including seven new colours), all with recycled content. Berber Point 920 is a resilient solution for any commercial, eco-friendly flooring application. It is durable and available in broadloom or as convenient ResinBac or NexBac Eco carpet tiles. It consists of structured needlepunch and has a 100% Stainproof Miracle Fibre (Polypropylene) and Stainproof Eco Fibre blend with a total thickness of 7mm-8.5mm (+-0.5mm).

“We were especially fond of Belgotex Commercial’s ZIG ZAG range as it was an excellent entry-level option, however, it is unfortunately no longer manufactured,” says Samantha. “In both these projects we kept with neutral colours, such as the grey and black or beige palettes. To include the corporate identity, we would rely on other design elements as most of these offices are leased out to tenants, and will have to be reinstated to their original condition within three to five years.”

Samantha goes on to say that they create interest in the floors by not sticking to one floor throughout, which is why they specified Belgotex Vinyl for Matuson & Associates. “We used Hartsfield Vinyl Laminate in European Beech as it effectively defines pause areas,” she explains. “We really appreciated the fact that the Hartsfield range is flexible and as such it can be used anywhere!”

Hartsfield commercial-grade flooring is available in an array of colours, textures and sizes in order to meet the design and style needs of a diverse clientele with a broad range of commercial applications. It offers eight varieties ranging from the natural good looks of Canadian or English Maple to American Cherry, Brazilian Walnut and Saddle Oak. With the performance and durability of resilient flooring the Hartsfield collection can be used in healthcare facilities, education institutions, retail stores, corporate offices and more.

For the Matuson & Associates project they once again specified ZIG ZAG Backline in their offices and boardroom areas.

Why Belgotex Commercial?

According to Samantha, Tower Bridge has been relying on Belgotex Commercial’s unique range of products for several years. “What makes them so apt for us as a company is simple: their products can serve either as entry-level options or extend to the more high-end, plush offerings,” she says. “Their variety is incomparable, not to mention the fact they always have stock available, which is critical when taking into consideration time constraints. For example, we recently specified 2 000m², and Belgotex Commercial was able to deliver.”

Samantha goes on to say that Belgotex Commercial also has a turnaround time of six to eight weeks, which is critical to Tower Bridge as it directly impacts their clients’ expectations of them as a company. “Belgotex Commercial representatives regularly meet with us, coming through to our offices to introduce us to new ranges and ensure that we remain knowledgeable on their product offerings and how they can be used to serve the needs of our clients,” she continues. “What we especially appreciate is the eagerness of their representatives to get input from designers. About four months ago we had a representative come to us and ask which products we use more often and why. This shows us that Belgotex Commercial is focused on the needs of industry to continuously evolve, improve and excel beyond expectation.”

In addition, Belgotex Commercial’s samples play a critical role in the design process, as they are used to create story boards, which are visual representations to show a client what a particular space will look like with the types of products they intend using. “We never struggle to get samples from Belgotex Commerical,” Samantha emphasises. “In fact, without them we cannot visually represent our vision to a client quite as effectively. We draw a lot of our inspiration from these samples when it comes to specifying floorcoverings. It also enables us to offer our clients something new, something different in terms of either technology or aesthetics, knowing it’s a product that will perform.”

Favourite Products

“Without a doubt, Equinox and Hartsfield are two of our favourite Belgotex products to specify, for all the reasons already noted,” explains Samantha.

Tower Bridge uses Equinox from Belgotex Commercial executive levels as it is a 100% Stainproof SDX (Solution Dyed Nylon) tufted carpet tile with colours that are based on earthy tones. It has a tufted multi-scroll loop construction and a NexBac Eco backing. In addition, it is suited for heavy commercial use and has a total thickness of 7.5mm.

“The vinyl range specifically is memorable, imitating the look and feel of real wood. Besides the fact that it’s flexible, it’s also very comfortable underfoot and offers an array of colour and texture options, such as the distressed wood look. It adds an instant high-end look to any space, yet is easy to maintain and clean, especially in environments exposed to heavy wear and tear.”

Samantha concludes by saying that she is beyond impressed with the Berber Point range, simply because it is such an excellent entry-level offering. She usually specifies it in black and/or grey palettes, as much can be done to complement this colour palette. “In the end, we strive to fulfil the needs of our clients, and Belgotex helps us to achieve this one range at a time,” she notes.

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