To all of the cynics out there: there’s a good reason why collaboration has become such a buzzword in design circles. When groups that don’t normally interact combine their energies toward a singular goal, exciting things can happen. It’s innovation in action, and the results can be significant.
Such was the case when Mannington Commercial, HOK Product Design and Pallas Textiles recently joined forces to look at healthcare flooring and
privacy curtains as part of a broader cross-platform. The resulting Vivendi and Valetudo collections provide an entirely new opportunity for healthcare design.
“Mannington has a long-standing relationship with HOK, including several successful collaborations for both carpet and hard-surface flooring,” says Natalie Jones, vice president of commercial brand development and creative product with Mannington Commercial. “We looked at the healthcare resilient sheet market and felt there had not been many new and groundbreaking introductions in some time, and that the market was ready for something different.”
Jones notes that there are already many solid, speckled and wood- or stone-inspired products on the market. “We wanted to use the performance and technology capabilities of our company to create something new,” she says. “We are the only domestic manufacturer producing heavy commercial heterogeneous sheet flooring, and we wanted to use this capability in a way to benefit our current and potential customers.”
It was natural to call in HOK for the project, based on the firm’s healthcare portfolio, but the team at Mannington also wanted to address broader needs in the healthcare market; that led to the addition of Pallas Textiles as a project partner. The task for the team at Pallas was to help develop patterns and provide a manufacturing source for cubicle curtains that would complement the to-be-developed flooring.
Donald Cremers, senior associate, interior design, HOK San Francisco led design development along with Natalie Banaszak, interior designer, HOK Chicago. “Our team looked extensively at healthcare trends and saw three evolving scenarios,” says Cremers. “We noted a desire toward more luxurious spaces, environments that reflect a healthy lifestyle, and environments that are calming and restorative.”
“Our work led us to produce a new direction in healthcare flooring by offering a solid pattern that serves as a soft background visual, which can then be layered with organic or geometric patterns,” he adds.
The resulting Vivendi collection of flooring from Mannington Commercial features the company’s patented Quantum Guard HP wear layer with an aluminum-oxide topcoat that is cured by an ultraviolet process. The sheets come in 6-, 9- and 12-foot widths to reduce waste during installation, and offer excellent durability and stain and slip resistance. The Vivendi collection is also fully recyclable at the end of its life.
Vivendi’s patterns were partially developed by thinking of the product as a textile on the floor. The solid background, Woven, reflects this in a simple beauty. The large-scale organic, Perennial, is floral in nature, while the medium geometric, Blockprint, is just what the name implies. All three designs come in 14 colors. Customers may choose from wood-inspired tones of walnut, maple and cherry. Colors in the metal-inspired palette mimic more industrial architectural materials. Nature-inspired colors such as aloe, sandalwood and oat straw are also available.
Banaszak says the
collection’s final colors were developed with help from professionals in the field. “We had ideas when Vivendi premiered at NeoCon last year, but the colors weren’t finalized at that time. We used our time with designers and facility managers to ask them to review our color concepts, and to tell us what was missing in available products. This enabled us to finalize the colors based on their input. This research also showed us that many potential customers saw Vivendi as an option for retail, hospitality and
corporate installations as well.”
Finding the right colors to complement the flooring was a big challenge, according to David White, vice president and general manager for Pallas Textiles. “There is a desire for more color in cubicle curtains, but it could not be too intense,” he says. “We had to find a middle ground in terms of both color and patterns.”
The resulting patterns found in the Valetudo
collection, which means “health and wellness” in Latin, were inspired by nature. Each design layers
pattern and color to create an appealing visual presence for both patients and visitors. Arbor is a sapling budding in the spring to convey a feeling of new life, Flora represents a sea of dandelions and Stratum was inspired by layers of the earth. As with Vivendi, each design comes in a range of colors. Valetudo is also manufactured from Trevira FR polyester, providing excellent durability and cleanability.
“It’s very difficult to find flooring and privacy curtains that work together,” says White. “The opportunity to be part of this collaboration was important and broadened the benefits that we can bring to the healthcare market.”
White says that Valetudo has been one of the strongest cubicle curtain introductions that he has experienced, and Jones notes the same response with Vivendi. The accolades have also started arriving—the Vivendi collection won NeoCon Gold awards for best product design and healthcare flooring, as well as a Nightingale Award Honorable Mention—proving just what a little teamwork is capable of accomplishing.
For more information about the Vivendi and Valetudo collections, visit www.mannington.com/commercial and www.pallastextiles.com.