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Heathrow Airport Head of Design reveals flooring secrets

The new Heathrow £2.3 billion Terminal 2 has won the ‘World Best Airport Terminal’ award for 2018 and the airport’s Head of Design, Barry Weekes has shared some of the flooring design secrets that contributed to this award.

The floor space of Terminal 2 is 430,000 square feet. If the floor pattern was too bold, or vibrant it could be an eyesore in such a big space. Furthermore, the floor could not be too shiny as it needed to be non-slip. Its neutral colours do not dominate the space and a plain colour was not chosen because the floor would have showed any scuff marks from baggage trolleys.

The floor tiles range from white, grey with hints of coral to black. Black tiled areas are activity areas such as checking in and security spaces. The different floor tile colours provide navigational clues for passengers. The floor is hard-wearing to cope with large passenger numbers.

All the colours used in Terminal 2 are neutral colours that create a calming influence. Signs and airline branding are the only brightly coloured objects. Barry Weekes described the design as creating:

“An ambience that responds to their functional and emotional needs – it does what it is supposed to (functional) and helps to create calm when there could be stress, security when there could be anxiety, enjoyment and excitement when there could be boredom.”

These design principles can act as a guide to installing flooring in other large commercial spaces, meaning the philosophy could also be applied to contract flooring in busy Wirral workplaces.

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