Interface projects

Sorbonne Nouvelle University

Project specifications

Location: France
Installation m²: 152 m²

Products used

  • Heuga 580
  • Transformation

1/ What’s the history behind this Research Centre?

This project to establish a site which centralises all of the Sorbonne’s various humanities research activities was launched last year. Prior to that, all research was carried out in a number of different university sites. The thinking behind this centre was to bring all of our research activities under one roof in order to have a true venue for discussion, exchange and pooling of ideas and to create a real dynamic on the subject. What’s the focus of the Research Centre? The Research Centre specialises in literature, languages, theatre, cinema and cultural mediation. The Sorbonne Nouvelle represents modern humanity! What activities will be the lifeblood of this Research Centre? It’s a bit of a work-in-progress since it’s the first time that all research activities have been housed in one place… We’ve got loads of ideas! For the moment, there are meeting rooms for research, offices dedicated to researchers and a thesis defence room… and we still have a lot more ideas for future development!

2/ What’s your position?

I’m the Vice-President of the Sorbonne Nouvelle University – Paris 3. I head up the scientific council and I manage and organise the research teams. Originally, I was a lecturer in Spanish.

3/ How long have you held it?

My position has just been renewed for a second term (four years)! This will give me the opportunity to concentrate on the organisation and structure of these somewhat unusual university premises!

4/ What made you decide on carpet tiles as opposed to other floor coverings?

We had several floor covering options open to us, in particular laminate flooring, ceramic tiles and carpets. My preference was for carpet as it’s warmer and you can play on the colour and design aesthetic. What’s more, it’s easy to change. The trickier aspect was deciding which carpet to choose. The photos that let you get a better idea of the final look gave you a positive edge.

“Here Carpet is our Decor”
Mr Civil, Vice President, Sorbonne Nouvelle University

5/ Was the modular or large-width aspect a consideration?

Not really, technical services simply thought that carpet tiles would be easier to install and therefore more appropriate for our premises.

6/ Was product colour a determining factor in your decision?

If so, for what reason? Yes, colour was a determining factor to create bright spaces and add a bit of vitality to the floors in dingy areas. With these new premises, we’ve been given the opportunity to occupy a magical place bang in the heart of Paris. I don’t want to render it cold and impersonal simply on the grounds that it’s a public building. If anything, the opposite is true. Admittedly, it’s important to maintain a certain level of restraint that’s conducive to study, but at the same time be able to add a decorative touch and warmth that we’ve achieved thanks to the carpet.

7/ Were you satisfied with the colourways available in the range of samples for each collection?

Absolutely, there was a wide variety of colours to choose from. If I’d been the sole decision-maker, I think I might have opted for even brighter colours still. However, I was happy to have been able to involve other people in the decision-making process. The decision was mutual and everyone likes the carpet!

8/ Did anyone object to the decision to carpet the floor?

No, not at all – we all had a hand in the decision!

9/ Was there a particular aspect that sold it to you? Indoor air quality? Security? Acoustic performance? Aesthetics? Concentration-inducing atmosphere?

Aesthetics and product quality were decisive factors. I have to admit that the issue of acoustics wasn’t a consideration for me, even though I’m aware that the meeting room where we’ve laid carpet tiles performs much better acoustically than the others laid with wooden flooring. Indoor air quality is another aspect I hadn’t given any thought to.

10/ What made you decide on Transformation as a product?

Was random installation a selling point? Why did you decide on Heuga 580? For its aesthetic qualities and different shades of colour. Random installation wasn’t something I was aware of. As far as the choice of Heuga 580 was concerned, colour was once again a decisive factor.

11/ What’s your maintenance routine?

Within the universities, operations are standardised and an external cleaning service takes care of carpet maintenance. I don’t know if this cleaning service follows a specific routine with regard to the carpets.

12/ Were you familiar with our company’s environmental initiative? If so, did this have an impact on your decision?

This is the first time I’ve been in charge of a refurbishment. I had no knowledge of Interface beforehand, and so consequently wasn’t aware of your environmental initiative But I am, of course, swayed by this argument, as we all care about heading in the right direction. And it’s a very positive aspect as it provides added value – not only is it a good-looking, high-quality product, it’s eco-friendly!

13/ Have you heard about ReEntry, our tile take back service for tiles at the end of their life?

No. However, this is the first time a carpet manufacturer has ever come to interview me to find out what I think about a product, its installation and possible end-of-life take back, and that strikes me as rather forward-looking and professional!

14/ How was the installation process managed?

Were our technical teams on hand to offer any assistance? The university’s technical services took care of choosing the installation company.

15 / Would you be prepared to pay a monthly charge for a maintenance, upkeep, design and end-of-life take back service rather than buying the carpet directly (service-free)?

With an organisation like ours, it’s a good idea to diversify operations and simplify the way they’re managed. So, it’s not such a foolish idea to hire a service rather than buy the product.

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