Creating spaces to foster connectivity and collaboration

Education Fri, Mar 15, 2019 10:32 AM

Forbo Flooring Systems’ versatile floor coverings have played a significant role in the reimagination of Your Space, a mindful co-working environment housed within the Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford, South London.

Home to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust (SLCT), the centre has been running for over 10 years and the latest refit builds on its wider goal to support people from under-represented backgrounds to become architects.

In the largest pro-bono project of its kind, design firm Gensler, fit-out specialists BW: Workplace Experts and branding agency LBA, worked together to deliver Your Space, opening up the area to create a feeling of networking, collaboration and flexibility.

The new space represents progression; aiding the Trust in its vision and its work to secure Stephen’s legacy.

Speaking about the design of Your Space, Chris Crawford, Lead Designer at Gensler explained: “The Trust wanted to create a thriving and creative co-working space designed to inspire and empower the next generation of architects, designers and creatives.

"Alumni, students and graduates from the SLCT programme participated in various exercises where they reimagined what the centre could be. We took elements from their entries, where natural light and colours proved very popular, and used some of their ideas to form part of our design.

"We wanted to create a bright and positive interior that reflected the Trust’s mission whilst being sensitive to anything related to Stephen’s memorial and retaining the spatial purity created in the original design.”

Forbo’s Sarlon Uni, in the Apricot colourway, was used on each of the floors, in corridors, staircases and working areas within The Lounge, The Studio and Residence Space. The seamless flows of orange spread from the ceilings, down the walls and finally onto the floors, connecting the different spaces together and bringing them to life. The acoustic vinyl offers a truly unique flooring solution combining high acoustic performance of up to 19dB with optimal resistance to indentation, ideal for high traffic areas.

Chris said: “Orange, Stephen Lawrence’s favourite colour, forms part of the Trust’s brand colours so it was inevitable that we used this vibrant hue throughout the space. The bursts of orange throughout the interior adds a real sense of energy, fuelling collaboration and connectivity. Forbo’s Sarlon Uni in Apricot was perfect for this not only for the colour, but also because of its acoustic elements and performance properties.”

Furthermore, Allura Flex Stone Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) in Grigio Concrete were installed throughout the top floor of the building in The Forum, a lecture space for learning. The natural stone aesthetic combined with the warm feeling underfoot of the loose lay vinyl tiles creates a comfortable, attractive and solid floor for its users. Thanks to the strong glass fleece carrier and multiple calendared layers, Allura Flex is unprecedented in strength, performance and quality.

Fitted in the entrance area, Coral Classic in the Anthracite colourway was used to ensure that the Your Space building remains safe and hygienic under all weather conditions. The entrance flooring system helps to create a welcoming environment, as dirt and moisture is left outside. What’s more, by stopping up to 95% of walked-in dirt and moisture from tracking into interior floor coverings, Coral can also reduce cleaning bills by up to 65% and prolong the life of interior floor finishes and coverings.

Steve Elliott, CEO of BW: Workplace Experts comments: “It has been a privilege to have joined forces with Gensler and LBA to deliver this project for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. I have no doubt that this co-working space will support and inspire the next generation in a very practical way.”

Sonia Watson, Chief Executive of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust said: “The development and refurbishment of Your Space at the Stephen Lawrence Centre has paved the way for the next 25 years. It is difficult to adequately convey our thanks to Forbo for joining the collective effort by supplying the beautiful flooring products used throughout. The space is being utilised as never before by organisations, communities and schools for workshops, events and as a co-working space for young people and those employed in the built environment, a prospect which was not possible before the refurbishment.”

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