Working in the park
Interface carpet tiles create the visual link between indoors and outdoors “Get rid of traditional office buildings and bring in modern living environments like the ways lofts are designed” is how Zurich architects Deon Architekten AG describe the design of the new building for the charitable foundation Stiftung Marburger Medien. Fluent shapes and textiles like the Interface carpet tiles provide a contrast to the hard elements in the building. And the new building should make it possible to experience the inspiring environment through all the senses. The slogan “Working in the park” was clearly worked out through the transparency of the building and the visual link between indoors and outdoors. And this link is crucially made via the textile floor covering.
The planners and building owners thought it important to ensure the building’s life cycle had a positive energy footprint. The aim was to minimise the energy used to create a comfortable indoor climate, to avoid decades of renovation costs for the shell and to keep the building’s maintenance and upkeep costs low. Zurich architect Luca Deon set these benchmarks for his design: “Right from the start I envisaged a building in the park,” he explained at the building’s opening in Spring 2008. With this glassy new building he has created a “workspace in tune with nature” in terms of both visual and energy aspects. Because architecture, façade, building technology and materials have been carefully matched to each other, it has been possible to reduce primary energy consumption by over 50 per cent.
The positive effect of the textile floor has also contributed to this. Because a room with carpet on the floor feels up to three degrees warmer than with a smooth floor covering, it has been possible to save energy on heating and minimise costs. And the textile flooring has had a positive influence on the working atmosphere, acoustics, ergonomy and air quality, because it absorbs sound, is comfortable to walk on and traps dust.
In Interface carpet tiles they found a product which provides a flooring solution that is both cost effective and sustainable. Heuga 731 is a durable velour carpet tile with a frisé look. Made from INVISTA’s Antron® carpet fibre, a polyamide 6.6, this carpet tile has qualities such as durability, ability to withstand compression and wear from high-traffic areas, as well as being wear and stain resistant. And Antron® fibres have been awarded the ENP 337 EcoProfile from BRE Global Limited and, as a result, are the first and currently only carpet fibres which have successfully undergone an evaluation process in accordance with the methodology of the Building Research Establishment.
In the case of Marburger Medien, the carpet tile option Cool Carpet® was chosen. This means that the amount of CO2 calculated to be produced over the whole life cycle of the carpet tiles – including material sourcing, manufacture, transport, usage, upkeep, disposal and recycling – is balanced out by Interface in other areas. This is acknowledged by a certificate showing the amount of CO2 offset and of the project supported. In addition, because individual elements can be exchanged in the event of damage or heavy soiling, it was possible to comply with the desire for a cost-effective and sustainable flooring solution.