Architects at Nicoll Russell Studios have worked closely with Forbo Flooring Systems to create an attractive and welcoming interior environment at The Kelpies Visitor Centre at Helix Park in Falkirk.
The centre provides an all-weather, all-year-round facility from which visitors can admire the magnificent 30m high Kelpies, the world’s largest equine sculptures. It also incorporates a cafe, exhibition space and a retail area.
Euan McCallum, Senior Associate at Nicoll Russell Studios, said: “When it came to specifying flooring for the centre, we initially contemplated having an exposed concrete finish, which would reflect the industrial heritage of The Kelpies. However, our client was concerned that the concrete may feel too hard beneath visitors’ feet and potentially be unwelcoming. So, we contacted Forbo for help as we were aware of the Allura Stone luxury vinyl tile range, which offers an appearance similar to polished concrete but without the associated costs and drawbacks.”
The main public areas of the centre have been fitted with Allura Stone LVT in three colourways – Grigio Concrete, Charcoal Concrete and Natural Concrete. The natural aesthetics and 50 x 50cm format were chosen to blend effectively with the granite paving of the plaza outside. The installation pattern not only reflects the exterior paving layout but also echoes the patterns of the stainless steel cladding panels on the Kelpies themselves.
Other Forbo products installed as part of the floor scheme include Nuway Grid entrance matting with Coral Anthracite inserts to complement the Allura Stone floor coverings, and Surestep safety flooring to help prevent slips and trips in back of house areas such as kitchens and staff rooms.
Euan concluded: “Throughout the entire project, Forbo were very helpful providing advice and all the samples we wanted. They not only assisted with the product selection, they also provided us with technical assistance and gave us a fully detailed specification for laying the materials on the substrate. Overall, we are all very pleased with the finished project and the help we received from the company.”
The innovative use of the floor coverings at The Kelpies Visitor Centre helped the project to win the 2016 Fly Forbo competition.