Case Study: University of Leeds, UK

Location: Leeds, UK
Project Size: 300m²
Products: Human Nature - HN810 Limestone, HN840 Nickel, HN850 Nickel

Interface Helps Bring The University Of Leeds To Life

Human Nature, the latest global collection from modular flooring manufacturer, Interface, has been used in the refurbishment of the University of Leeds Language Zone to help create a unique and inspiring area for students to learn.

Located in the grade II listed Parkinson building, the Language Zone consists of a reception area, seating space, and communal and individual computing pods. The project brief was to create a learning zone that would draw both students and visitors into the Zone, encourage concentration, and provide a great overall education experience. “We wanted to create a stand-out design that was different to any other location at the University”, Kay Tuke Swithenbank, Interior Designer at the University of Leeds commented. “That said, the well-being of our students is always our top priority and therefore we needed to make sure the space would allow them to focus and feel comfortable, at the same time as inspiring them.

Working alongside Interface’s Concept Design Team, Kay chose the Human Nature collection, which takes inspiration from biophilic design – human’s innate connection to the natural world. Interface’s HN810 tile in Limestone was selected to provide a multi-tonal texture, and combined with HN840 and HN850 in Nickel which has the appearance of a pebbly surface design.

The look and style of Human Nature was a huge appeal when selecting flooring for the refurbishment. We were able make use of the shape of the tiles, which come in skinny planks, to delineate areas. For example, we added bright orange accent planks in the reception areas to lead people into the main room.  The compact pebbled design surrounds the computer pods and gradually disperses as students move toward the seating areas, taking them on a journey through the space.” Kay explained. 

However, the aesthetic appearance of the collection wasn’t the only contributing factor to the selection. Made with 100 per cent recycled content nylon yarn, Human Nature embodies Interface’s 20-year history as a sustainability pioneer and can be recycled via its ReEntry® 2.0 recycling process. “As a University we continually seek out the most environmentally-friendly products for our developments and therefore Interface’s sustainability focus and commitment to the environment was a real draw”, Kay added.

 “Acoustics were also a key concern as sound is a real issue in the building when students are practising language skills in conversations and group discussions. The Human Nature carpet tiles were much thicker than other products we looked at and therefore perfect for the Language Zone, as they minimised sound transfer within the space, making it easier for students to concentrate.”

Carolin Schneider, Language Zone Manager at University of Leeds, concluded: “The design works perfectly in the Zone and the refurbishment has created an inspiring and lively area where students are happy to come and work. The flooring colour and texture plays a real role in the design, and the colour scheme is carried throughout the furniture, creating a great overall experience.”

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