The “ATMYSPHERE” keynote theme chosen for DOMOTEX 2020, the world’s leading trade fair for carpets and floor coverings, will shine a light on all those qualities of flooring products that contribute to people’s wellbeing. Environmentally friendly materials and manufacturing processes will be a key focus at next year’s event, which runs from 10 to 13 January.
Growing health and environmental consciousness is sparking an increasing number of interior design projects based on environmentally friendly floor coverings and installation materials. The following examples of products made by DOMOTEX exhibitors illustrate the key role sustainable flooring products can play in innovative interior design concepts for hotels, bars and restaurants as well as showrooms, offices and even tradeshow stands.
Deutsche Telekom’s flagship store in Munich’s Marienplatz square was fitted out in line with the company’s “Collector’s Lab” retail concept, which involves arranging “collector’s items” in “emotionally appealing display islands amid a high-value setting”. The objective is to create an inviting and highly personal shopping experience. The store’s flooring design employed two different resilient floor coverings made by DOMOTEX exhibitor Windmöller. White and magenta-coloured strips on an industrial-style polished concrete floor draw the visitor’s gaze to various product displays. Purline organic flooring combined with wood-panel walls and comfortable upholstered furniture are used to create homely lounge and consulting areas. Purline is a high-quality polyurethane flooring solution made from ecuran, a high-performance composite material that is manufactured primarily from plant-based oils such as canola oil or castor oil and naturally occurring mineral components such as chalk.
“Mindful living and working are more important than ever before to consumers,” explains Annika Windmöller, Partner and Director of Corporate Communications at the Windmöller Group. “People’s strong environmental consciousness and desire to engage in sustainable consumption and maximise their personal wellbeing are key drivers for us. Durable Purline organic flooring is ideally suited to meeting these needs.” Gerda Karal, the team leader at Cologne-based architectural firm Lepel & Lepel who was responsible for the interior design of the flagship store, stressed that a key objective of the project was to achieve “a perfect balance between ecology and style”.
The interior of the Mama Shelter Hotel in Belgrade was styled by São Paulo-based interior designer Jalil Amor, who had previously worked at the architectural offices of Jean Nouvel and Philippe Starck in Paris. Amor’s design evokes the rich history of Serbia’s capital city and its centuries-long legacy as part of the Ottoman Empire. The hotel’s expansive restaurant and lounge area, for instance, features a mix of oriental patterns with a modern twist and creative pop art elements. Brightly-coloured round stools from Zollanvari’s “Mafrash Home Décor Collection” serve both as comfortable seating and stunning eyecatchers.
The collection itself is made up of one-of-a-kind mafrash coffers designed to be used as stools, tables and chests. The coverings are made from old fabric carry bags hand-woven by Ghashgha’i and Luri nomads using kilim, soumak and ziggurat techniques. For its flat-weave fabrics with their elaborate three-dimensional structures, Zollanvari uses the finest high-country wool from Iran’s Zagros mountains. The hand-made “carpet stools” make a key contribution to the relaxed, creative atmosphere of the Mama Shelter’s rooms. The exquisite textiles from which the stools are made are thus cleverly repurposed and used sustainably.
For his makeover of the Greens Restaurant & Bar at Ireland’s Ring of Kerry Golf Club, Vinny Smith, the managing director of the boutique interior design firm Northern Backdrop Interior Design, used timber planks from the “Wave Collection” by Corà Parquet. The organically shaped boards are made from European oak and have a glossy gray grain color and finish. “The Greens Restaurant affords its guests spectacular views of Kenmare Bay, the Atlantic and the breathtakingly rugged landscape of Country Kerry,” Smith said. “I wanted the design to match the area’s natural environment.” For the wall cladding in the bar Smith used oak planks with undulating contours to “recreate the waves of the sea and mimic the reflection of light on the water. The form, colours and texture of the cladding lend impact to what is a rather small bar, making it a unique design signature and focal point for the restaurant.” The manufacturer, Corà Parquet, uses high-quality wood that is processed with great care and engineered for longer life. The wood is FSC certified and produced in accordance with high environmental and social standards.
Vielaris Art Parquet, Lithuania, specialises in the restoration of floors in historic buildings. The company also leverages its restoration expertise to create new parquet floors for high-end modern interiors. For example, at the offices of a real estate investment firm in Paris it installed a floor using “Trio”, a system of parquet panels made of beech laminated with an upper layer of oak. Trio is a sustainable floor covering system in which geometric triangle, diamond and trapezium elements are laid to form an elegant and highly expressive pattern. The unique look of the natural wood floor is further accentuated by sparingly placed triangles of brass. For its projects, Vielaris Art Parquet uses wood, a renewable material, which it precision-crafts into exquisite, made-to-order floors, with options for inlays of wood and metal. One key feature of the Vielaris’s two-ply parquet panels is that all technical elements and details are connected throughout the entire space and the products are made using a traditional process that combines good looks with long life.
The display stand operated by Freudenberg Performance Materials at DOMOTEX 2019 caused quite a stir. Visitors to the stand were able to immerse themselves in a deceptively real-looking natural environment. It was all thanks to the carpeting, which featured Freudenberg tuft backings and extremely realistic moss and forest motifs created using high-end digital printing technology. At Freudenberg, sustainability is a core value that finds practical expression in numerous projects aimed at reducing energy, water and raw materials consumption.
“We are constantly improving the environmental sustainability of our tufted carpet backings without compromising on performance,” commented Freudenberg Performance Materials Chief Technical Officer John McNabb. The company recycles its waste materials, is steadily increasing the certified-recycled component of its material mix, and avoids the use chemical binding agents. “At the same time, we’re helping to improve our customers’ environmental ‘handprint’ by offering 100%-recyclable single-component tufted backings,” McNabb said. Themed “Sustainable Backings”, the stand was thus also used by Freudenberg as an opportunity to engage with customers on the subject of partnership for a sustainable future.
Guests at the newly renovated Panorama 2962 restaurant on the summit of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak, can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Alps. As part of the renovation project, the design firm Raumausstattung Kraus installed some 800 m² (8610 sq. ft.) of solid-wood floorboards with the aid of eco-friendly products from Uzin Utz. Part of the pre-existing floor was tiled, while the rest was surfaced with rapid screed cement. The first step in preparing this substrate was to remove all the loose tiles and even out small imperfections using diamond grinding. With this done, the installers then applied a reduced-odour, solvent-free epoxy primer-sealer – the product of choice for sustainable building projects. The purpose of the primer-sealer was to protect the solid-wood boards from residual moisture from the substrate and stabilise weak spots. To eliminate tensile and shearing forces between the sold-wood boards and the substrate, Raumausstattung Kraus then installed low-emission fleece underlay. The 20 mm-thick solid-oak boards were then bonded to the underlay using a parquet adhesive that is free of chemical plasticisers and is “Blue Angel” eco-certified. This installation methodology resulted in a healthy room environment free of solvent fumes, not to mention an attractive wooden floor that heightens the restaurant’s natural and inviting decor.
These and other new developments in sustainable, natural flooring will be there for visitors to see and experience at the upcoming DOMOTEX, which runs from 10 to 13 January 2020 in Hannover, Germany. Innovative manufacturers from around the world will be there with a richly diverse range of flooring solutions inspired by the keynote theme, ATMYSPHERE.