Case Study: St Johns Hall, Northampton, UK

Location: Northampton, UK
Project Size: 9,000m²
Other Services: Concept Designer
Product: Sabi II, Urban Retreat, Vintage Refine

Interface and dulux trade help put students on track at st john’s halls

Interface, global modular flooring manufacturer, and Dulux Trade, leading paint manufacturer, were enlisted to help to bring to life the industrial inspired design of a new city-based student accommodation block for the University of Northampton.

Built on the site of a former railway turntable, the interior design of the student accommodation block draws inspiration from its railway heritage. The high-end halls of residence house around 470 students in flats of varying sizes, featuring en-suite bedrooms and communal kitchen and living spaces. Marketed as deluxe accommodation, it was important for the interior décor and furnishings to have a high quality and long lasting finish, which was why both Interface and Dulux Trade were chosen for the project.

The brief was to create a design scheme that reflected the historic context of the build with the addition of a contemporary twist, and therefore the Dulux Trade neutral paint colours were complemented with Interface’s vibrant Sabi II collection in the corridors in contrasting red, blue and green patterns.

To create an impact in the reception and seating areas, products from Interface’s nature-inspired Urban Retreat range were installed in skinny plank format – rectangular shaped flooring tiles – to echo the earthy notes of the paint colour scheme and provide an eye-catching and hardwearing surface at the building’s entrance.

Interface’s innovative skinny plank allows for greater design freedom and offers minimal wastage during installation, helping to reduce maintenance costs during the lifetime of the building. If an area of the flooring becomes damaged or worn, individual tiles can be replaced, rather than needing a full new carpet.

Mark Linieres, Account Manager at Interface said: “As the development was set to be part of the university’s higher-end accommodation, the design needed to have a more luxurious feel. Our Urban Retreat range was the perfect choice and helped to create an entrance that was more reminiscent of a hotel than halls of residence, and the bright and bold colours of the Sabi II collection complemented the fun design scheme.

Senior Colour Designer at Dulux Trade, Lisa Pilley, was involved in the design process from working on initial sketches of the project to devising a unique colour scheme to capture the essence of the project’s historic location. Using neutral tones for the paint, the interiors were inspired by the exterior of the building, to ensure a consistent feel through the design.

Lisa explained: “St John’s Hall is in an area of central Northampton steeped in local history but which is currently undergoing regeneration and we really wanted to reflect both the historic and contemporary elements in the design.”

Throughout the building’s entrance and corridor spaces, which experience the highest levels of traffic, Dulux Trade Diamond Eggshell was used in a mixture of neutral tones, alongside more vibrant shades on several feature walls to add a splash of colour. Diamond Eggshell was used throughout as it offers a high level of durability and stain resistance. The communal living areas of the flats are equally vibrant, using a combination of purple, blue and green shades to accentuate key walls and features.

Lisa continued: “The palette of earthy tones reminiscent of the site’s industrial past, with accents of fresher, contemporary shades, ensured we’ve been able to bring elements of the old and the new together to create a fantastic environment for student to live and study.

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