As the 2019/2020 Fly Forbo competition opens for entries this month, we catch up with last year's winner Michelle Hardy, Senior Creative at Honest, to find out how creating an integrated flooring scheme for the Halifax flagship project helped her to achieve the goals for the new state-of-the-art branch.
Michelle Hardy, Senior Creative, Honest
Michelle has worked in the creative industry for the past 22 years on both the agency and client side, working with many different brands across the globe to bring their individual personalities to life, from strategy to all brand experiences in the customer journey.
What were you trying to achieve with this project?
The Halifax flagship had to be amazing, as it was going to be the first flagship branch in the landmark location of London. Spanning over three floors and split into different zones, we needed to express what Halifax was, which is a bank for the people and a home away from home.
Why did you decide to choose a variety of Forbo’s floor coverings?
We used Forbo’s floor coverings because it offers such a wide variety of products within its portfolio; from natural flooring to textured carpets. The floor coverings work together seamlessly from one area to the next and also, they look aesthetically fantastic.
The Westbond collection was used quite heavily throughout the flagship – why was this?
Westbond is a great collection because it is so versatile with its spectrum of colours. On the first floor, the meeting rooms are decorated and named after rooms traditionally found within a home, so we have The Study, The Living Room, The Dining Room and The Garden Room, with each one having its own design characteristics. The Westbond carpet tile collection was instrumental as it meant that we could have different colours of carpet in each of the rooms.
Another reason that we opted for Westbond was down to the fact that you can order the carpet tiles in small quantities - and because the flagship is a one-off, this was quite a unique selling point for us.
Can you tell us more about the Home Hub?
The main focal point on the first floor is the Home Hub, which is a really great proposition for the flagship. Again, we used Forbo’s Westbond carpet tiles, which were installed in a circular shape in the Halifax colour to draw attention to the area and to get customers to gravitate there. In this area, customers can talk to staff about the home buying process and their mortgage journey.
In the area of the Home Hub, customers can also sit down and talk to advisors in a much more comfortable environment and here we decided to use Allura Flex luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) to give this space a much more domestic feel.
Tessera Diffusion was used behind the cashier desks because it was a great colour match with the natural flooring that we used on the ground floor. The comfortable underfoot feel of the carpet tile was also perfect as the cashiers needed to rest on a soft surface.
We chose SureStep safety flooring behind the counter in the kitchen and in staff toilets due to its slip resistance and easy to clean properties. Also, the colourway Blue Concrete really complemented the aesthetics of the flagship as a whole.
And how did you use Forbo’s products on the lower ground?
We used Allura Wood LVT on the lower ground because it provided a warm and homely texture. This was important as this floor is designed for customers to have private conversations and to talk in-depth about their personal situations, so they needed to feel comfortable within the space.
This is then contrasted with the carpet tiles we used. A bespoke colourway Halifax Jute was manufactured using the Tessera Inline range, as we wanted to create something that was completely unique and ownable to Halifax – not just for the flagship, but also for their other premises. Halifax Jute not only helps to remind customers of the brand, but is also offers a softer texture.
What other products in Forbo’s portfolio did you use?
The great thing about Forbo’s portfolio is that its products expand beyond floor coverings, as they also offer Bulletin Board, which is a pinboard linoleum. We used this on the ground floor within the travel zone, where we created a map of the world for the wall, which we then stuck pins into it to hold stretches of cotton radiating from the UK to different destinations around the world. Also, in the children’s area, we were able to put a quote on the wall using Bulletin Board.
Forbo was instrumental in supporting us throughout the whole project and this was made easier as its showroom is just down the road from our offices in Farringdon. I used to meet Mark Jackson there regularly and talk about the products that I needed. I would tell him about my ideas and the type of materials that I’m looking for and he would help me to identify an array of products that would help us to meet our objectives.
We had been working on the flagship for two years, going backwards and forwards and tackling lots of different challenges along the way. So, to enter the Fly Forbo competition and to be among so many great designers with brilliant projects, and then to come out as the winner really was fantastic.
To enter this year's Fly Forbo competition simply enter here!