Where Design Meets Sustainability: Interface's New Clerkenwell Design Hub

When it came to creating a new showroom in London’s sought-after Clerkenwell district, Interface – the commercial flooring company and global leader in sustainability – had a clear vision.

The company wanted to establish a unique creative hub that would bring together customers, colleagues, architects and designers to collaborate and define the future of flooring, all in an environment that would reflect its commitment to reversing the effects of climate change.

Located in Pennybank Chambers on the corner of Clerkenwell Road and St John’s Square, the 2,000 sq. ft space forms part of a former Victorian artisan tenement block. With a rich history in art and design, having previously been used as artist dwellings and clockmakers, the building provided the perfect setting for Interface’s new showroom. To bring the space to life, Interface’s design team worked in with longstanding partner Morgan Lovell, the design and build specialist.

Embodying the brand

Interface needed the new showroom to embody its focus on creating beautifully designed commercial spaces that support collaboration, creativity and wellbeing, while positively impacting the planet.

To deliver this, the Pennybank hub has been designed as a fully flexible and open plan space - made up of quiet working areas, collaboration zones, flooring mock-up spaces and a kitchen and bar, as well as an outside terrace for entertaining.

In a bid to support the wellbeing of those using the space, the principles of biophilic design have been adopted, with planting incorporated throughout so as to be seen from all angles, while a considered, neutral colour palette achieves a light and airy atmosphere. Natural materials and finishes have also been carefully selected to complement the original architecture including exposed Victorian brickwork and slatted wooden cladding along the central core.

Speaking of the new premises, Laura Light, Concept Design team leader at Interface, said: “The Clerkenwell showroom is so important to us. It’s a place where we can welcome customers and members of the design community and really showcase our values. The new space is dynamic, creative and sustainable, and provides the perfect environment to not only display our designs and hold consultations with our clients, but also host a whole range of exciting workshops and seminars for the wider industry.”

Showstopping flooring

Different zones of the showroom are all connected by Interface’s family of carbon neutral products including carpet tile, LVT and nora® rubber flooring, which come together seamlessly and mirrors the ceiling and lighting grid above. Collections on display include the recently launched Woven Gradience as well as the company’s first collection to feature carbon negative carpet tiles, Embodied Beauty.

Reflecting the Japanese principles of minimalism, restoration and the organic beauty of the natural world, Embodied Beauty has been designed to reflect the concept of working in alignment with nature. All seven styles of Embodied Beauty are at least carbon neutral across their full product life cycle but, importantly, this is the first Interface collection to feature carpet tiles that are carbon negative from cradle to gate. These products feature Interface’s CQuest™ BioX backing, which stores more carbon than ever before.

Woven Gradience is Interface’s latest carpet tile collection. Its inspiration comes from nature’s seamless natural blending of different colours and textures, with colourways that are both soothing and exciting. In the new showroom, Woven Gradience has been used as a celebration of colour in collaboration zones, with tones chosen including relaxing greys and uplifting aqua.

Interface’s Level Set LVT collection was seamlessly integrated alongside Woven Gradience without the need for bridges or connectors, creating a smooth and level finish between carpet tile and vinyl flooring. The LVT collection has been used in areas where there is higher footfall, such as the kitchen and bar area, to provide contrast and much-needed durability. As well as being hard-wearing, Interface’s LVT offers superior acoustics and low VOCs for improved indoor air quality. Meanwhile, bringing a sense of natural elegance to the showroom’s collaboration zones is norament® 926 castello – a modern rubber flooring solution inspired by natural materials such as limestone.

Finally, the nature-inspired Ice Breaker collection, which has recently been refreshed to build on its grey foundation to offer new, warm neutral tones, works to create a comforting base and bring a sense of calm and serenity. The new palette also allows for pops of colour to support zoning.

A climate conscious space

In keeping with Interface’s core values, the showroom has been designed with sustainability in mind, with all materials and furniture carefully specified from UK manufacturers with complementary environmental credentials.

Laura explained: “A real centrepiece of the space is a beautiful bar worktop which has been created using reclaimed wood sourced locally from King’s Cross, while all fabrics and curtains were chosen from a sustainable material manufacturer. The Silestone Storewall worktop has been created using a hybrid surface of premium minerals, quartz and recycled materials, and our modular, bleacher seating is also made from recycled and reclaimed timber – all manufactured by a team who support people from communities who face prejudice and barriers to work.”

Karolina Samuilaite, senior designer at Morgan Lovell, reflected on the Pennybank project: “We loved working with Interface to bring their vision to life. The space is of course beautifully designed, but it’s more than that; it’s also the perfect physical expression of Interface’s commitment to creating a more sustainable built environment. We’re delighted to have been a part of creating a hub that Interface and all of their partners and customers can enjoy for many years to come.”

The showroom is now officially open for consultations, events and as a co-working space, which can be organised via the showroom manager.

To find out more about Interface, visit the Interface website.

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