Harrogate Borough Council was planning to create a new civic building on its edge-of-town Knapping Mount site. Situated within a wooded conservation area, the new building would allow the council to create a central and unifying ‘hub’ for its numerous disparate offices around Harrogate.
The council’s aim was to create a building that would help to promote a ‘One Council’ culture and provide an open, flexible and efficient space for its staff, council members and the public. At the same time, the council was also keen to take the opportunity to make a cultural shift in its working approach.
Moving from a traditional static work scenario towards a more modern, open-plan working environment, it would need to provide employees with a number of alternative spaces including agile workstations, collaborative areas, high bars, a cafe and soft seating.
When designing the building’s interior, this gave architecture firm Farrell & Clark a number of clear objectives for both the visual aesthetics and for how the different interior spaces would function for its various users.
For the interior finishes, including the flooring, the design team was looking to create a contemporary and dynamic setting that would engage teams and provide a light working environment. The building’s dramatic rounded shape also meant that an organic design for the floor would flatter its curving lines.
Milliken’s Laylines collection of tufted, level loop-pile modular carpet was chosen for the soft flooring throughout the building. The Laylines design provides a linear backdrop that injects lively and vibrant movement across the floor. With a vast choice of high-energy brights and beautifully-blended, rich neutrals included in the collection, this incredibly versatile design offers the opportunity to punctuate the floor plane with dynamic colour.
“We loved the way the Milliken Laylines design had a gradient of colour fading in and out and blending seamlessly with the field carpet. The result was a dynamic, organic ripple throughout the building,” explained Amy Fulford, Interior Designer at Farrell & Clark Architects.
The Laylines Transitions range within the collection allows designers to gently move the floorscape from one colour to another in a smooth graduation. Milliken’s Millitron digital colour placement uniquely enables this sophisticated design feature to be achieved. Farrell & Clark’s design team truly optimised the flexibility of Laylines by selecting a palette of vivid colours including blue, yellow and orange to highlight, zone and identify different areas within the building.
As well as creating a new and positive working ethos with the office design, the council was also keen to provide a welcoming and practical space that the local community could utilise. With this in mind, wayfinding was a crucial factor to ensure that the public could easily navigate the building.
The design team was able to successfully achieve this by using the Laylines design in a stylish and contemporary way to create highlighted walkways and colour-coded flooring. The improved comfort and wellbeing of the council’s staff was also an important aspect of the new working environment. The additional underfoot comfort of the Laylines carpet’s Comfort Lite cushion backing was a valuable product feature that would help support this aim. In the open office environment, the enhanced sound-absorbency properties of the Comfort Lite backing was another aspect that has helped contribute to the improved ambience of the space.
As a public building, sustainability was always a significant factor in the specification of the interior finishes. Milliken’s sustainability credentials provided the assurance that the council and architectural teams were looking for. From a product perspective, the fact that the Laylines product’s Comfort Lite cushion backing is made from 90% recycled content was also an important aspect in its specification. Milliken’s new Re-Vision Closed Loop Carpet Recycling Service now offers the council the additional assurance that when it reaches the end of its life, the carpet can be disposed of responsibly and reprocessed for new carpet production.