It’s early days yet, but the high number of exhibitor registrations received so far points to a successful DOMOTEX 2019 (11–14 January, Hannover, Germany). Many of these exhibitors are already working on the finer details of their showcases, eager to put their best foot forward when they present their product innovations in January. The show’s new keynote theme, “CREATE’N’CONNECT”, is a bold statement that puts the spotlight on the current connectivity megatrend. Connectedness is an important aspect of flooring in the sense that floors are unifying, connecting elements of room design. Floors and flooring provide the very foundation for the rooms in which we live and work.
Among the exciting incubators of flooring ideas and innovations at DOMOTEX is the special “Framing Trends” display area in Hall 9 – a place where exhibitors and other providers from the flooring industry can stage their imaginative and creative interpretations of the keynote theme. The “Framing Trends” wow factor attracts visitors from all around the world to DOMOTEX, where – to use the words of the lead theme – they can CREATE’N’CONNECT with exhibitors and forge new cooperative ventures that span the globe.
Many of the exhibitors lined up for DOMOTEX 2019 are authors of innovative products used in interior design projects the world over. Their carpets, floor coverings and installation systems are used by international architects and interior designers to create original, imaginatively designed spaces in which the floor forms the connecting, unifying element of the overall design.
At signature locations around the world – including an historic ballroom in Chicago, a bookstore-café in Oslo and the new Allianz stadium in Vienna – architects, interior designers and interior planners have integrated flooring design into their creative vision from the outset, conscious of the need to give each interior that final touch of magic that brings it to life as an harmonious, organic whole. These magical interior spaces at the cutting edge of interior design feature carpet tiles, hand-made rugs, wood flooring products and installation materials that premiered at past DOMOTEX shows as part of displays mounted by such big names as Oriental Weavers, Galleria Battilossi, Chapel Parket, Classen, Fletco and Uzin Utz.
The floor as a connecting element of interior design
The Blackstone Hotel was built in downtown Chicago 1910. For the interior design renovation of this iconic building, The Gettys Group created a concept that was new and modern, yet faithful to the Old World charm of the Chicago landmark’s walls and ceilings. For the Crystal Ballroom, a much-favored venue for weddings, The Gettys Group contracted Oriental Weavers (Egypt) to custom create an oversized Axminster. The carpet is 80 percent wool, blended with 20 percent polyamide for extra wear resistance. The symmetrical pattern is redolent of giant waves – a clever play on the directly adjacent Lake Michigan that enhances the room’s unique feel. Oriental Weavers will be back in Hannover for DOMOTEX 2019, where they will be showcasing their latest wondrous creations in machine-woven carpets.
The historic Viennese furniture design brand Gebrüder Thonet Vienna recently relocated its headquarters to a converted factory building in Turin. The headquarters features a showroom, where GTV’s classic creations are staged in floorto- ceiling display cases, flanked by contemporary pieces created in cooperation with big-name designers. For the interior design of the showroom’s grand entrance area, CEO Riccardo Pigati selected hand-made wool carpets from Galleria Battilossi, whose innovative “Pattern Mix” collection won a Carpet Design Award at DOMOTEX 2017. The carpets in this case are a one-off original from Galleria Battilossi’s “Color Jam Project” collection and a vintage Berber rug from the Beni Ourain region. Their yellow and beige tones connect with the color accents of the furniture on display to create an harmonious ensemble of old and new. “Quality, craftsmanship, originality and authenticity are values that GTV shares with Galleria Battilossi,” says Pigati. “This sense of connection is why we decided that Battilossi’s extraordinary carpets were the right choice for our showroom.”
On the second floor of the YME Universe store in Oslo, a boutique women’s fashion department and adjacent bookshop/café share the same parquet flooring. For the design of the 330 sqm expanse of floor, the design team at YME Studios and the interior designers at the Oslo architecture and design firm Snøhetta chose the “Hermitage Herringbone” range from Chapel Parket. They selected the exquisite wood flooring in three contrasting tones because of its slightly rough surface and expressive interplay of colors. The black parquet elements link up with the window frames and bookshelves, while the warmer wood tones harmonize with the vintage sofa and the undressed timber beams and interior framing. Chapel Parket has exhibited at DOMOTEX on a number of occasions and will again be showcasing its characterful wooden floor products at DOMOTEX 2019.
Hotel Villa Vie is a boutique establishment in a heritage building located on the Mosel River in the German town of Cochem. Its proprietor, Theodor Steidel, designed and furnished the guest rooms himself, and each has its own distinctive charm. His vision combines antique furniture with modern design and carefully selected objets d’art. To complete the interior design and draw all the elements together, Steidel opted for the extremely hard-wearing, PVC-free synthetic plank solutions of the “SONO Skyline” collection by Classen. The deciding factors were the material’s durability, low-noise properties, convincing natural-wood look and low-sheen finish. “The flooring fits in beautifully with the rooms’ mix of antiques and modern, high-quality furniture,” says Steidel. “It’s happy to sit quietly in the background, but still manages to impress with its visual and haptic properties.” When fitting out the rooms, Steidel says, he was looking for a “high-quality product that offered modern design and optimal protection against moisture.” Hence he chose a flooring solution from the “SONO” collection for the bathrooms as well. The “SONO” collection was a featured innovation at a recent DOMOTEX show.
Global software development company Playtech recently relocated its Tallinn operation to a new, 3,200 sqm office. The architect in charge of the office’s interior, Jan Skolimowski of architectural firm KAMP, says flooring was a key element of his design concept. One of the defining themes of the concept was the play button triangle motif in the blue Playtech logo. “So I needed a commercial carpet whose pattern and color palette fitted in with the logo. The ‘Sebastian Wrong by Fletco’ collection was my first and only choice.” Skolimowski chose dark-blue triangular carpet tiles for the central area of each room and lighter-colored tiles for the areas around the outer perimeters, effectively making each office appear even larger. The triangular shapes and blue tones of the flooring are echoed elsewhere in the interior design concept – in cushions on wooden bases, the main reception desk and decorative wall elements, for example. The end result is one of connectedness between floors, furniture and walls. London based designer Sebastian Wrong first unveiled his endlessly configurable carpet tile collection for Danish manufacturer Fletco at DOMOTEX.
Rapid Vienna’s new Allianz Stadion stadium was built in the space of just 17 months. That’s 17 months to build 10,000 sqm of floor and install 8,000 sqm of luxury vinyl flooring. The successful, on-time completion of the project was due in no small measure to the smoothly managed preparation of the subfloor using installation materials from Uzin Utz. The subfloor material, screed, is normally laid in fields of up to 40 sqm, but some of the fields in this project were as large as 300 sqm. That’s because the owner wanted the screed in the business lounge areas to be as joint-free as possible, so that vinyl could be laid in large unbroken runs, thereby achieving the uniform aesthetic effect envisioned by the project architect, Guido Pfaffhausen. To achieve this effect, all joints between the screed cement sections were bridged using RR 203 fiberglass crack reinforcement and then filled and sealed with a thin layer of NC 182 low-slump patching and repair compound. This approach meant that the screed could be installed free of cross-cuts and anchors – a key requirement of the interior concept.
After sanding and priming, the installers then applied Uzin NC 160 self-leveling smoothing compound at a thickness of 2 to 3 mm using am trowel. The compound has low tension, excellent flow characteristics and creates completely level subfloors. The result is a very smooth, highly absorbent surface that reduces the amount of adhesive required for the vinyl. Consequently, the adhesive dries faster and is less prone to compression under load. After just one day, the leveled surface was ready to walk on. The installers were then able to sand it, cut the vinyl to size and install it.
Forbo Flooring wood and concretelook commercial vinyl floor coverings in various shades were laid on both levels of the business lounge and in the hallways, aisles, conference rooms and VIP boxes. In the expansive lounge area, the concrete-look makes for a pared back modern feel, while in the VIP boxes, the authentic looking wood patterns provide well balanced highlights. The vinyl was installed using Uzin KE 16 universal adhesive, resulting in a dimensionally stable surface that meets the stadium’s aesthetic and functional requirements.
Connectedness is an important aspect of flooring design. Floors inspire us, give us orientation and set the stage for human interaction. This and other key flooring trends will feature prominently at DOMOTEX, the world’s leading trade show and biggest innovations and trend platform for the flooring industry. The show is the annual highlight of the flooring and design scene, providing a stimulating atmosphere that sparks quality collaboration between exhibitors and visitors.
11 to 14 January (Friday–Monday)
Hannover Exhibition Center