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New State Gallery Stuttgart, Germany
Builder: The state of Baden-Württemberg
Architect: James Stirling, Michael Wilford & Associates
Installation: 1984, re-installation (partial): 2013/14
Product: norament 926, color 0846
Area: 1,200 m² (new floor in 2013) as well as the original flooring, listed as a protected historical monument
Application areas: Foyer, corridors, coat rooms, cafeteria
Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Cézanne, Gauguin: the list of famous artists whose work can be seen in the Stuttgart State gallery goes on forever. In the last year alone the gallery welcomed 354,000 visitors. All are united by their passion for great art, which can be seen not only on the walls of the gallery, but also on the floor; the pastille flooring in the New State Gallery is a protected historical monument. The museum opened in March, 1984, and today it is considered an extremely important example of postmodern architecture. Under plans drawn up by the London-based firm of James Stirling, Michael Wilford & Associates, a lime-green pastille floor was originally installed in the foyer, hallways, coat rooms, and cafeteria. The flooring underlines the authenticity of the building and, thanks to its striking appearance, has become a distinctive landmark over the years. Green mousepads that echo the aesthetic of the pastille floor are even for sale in the museum shop. The same shade that was developed by Norman Foster in cooperation with nora systems was used. After almost three decades, the flooring was changed in 2013. Although the original flooring was no longer available, nora systems was asked to provide a new floor based on the original design. Customized production made this possible. With the relief effect that nora achieved, and with slightly higher pastilles than are usual today, the difference is hardly noticeable. By the way – at the request of the monument office – a few square meters of the original flooring are still there. A final anecdote: the new pastille covering is a joint project – a floor sponsored by art lovers.
Photo: Volker Naumann / Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Frankfurt am Main Airport, Germany
Builder: Flughafen Frankfurt Main AG
Architect: Alois Giefer and Hermann Mäckler
Product: norament 926
Area: 80,000 m²
Application areas: originally in Terminal 1
In terms of passenger traffic, Frankfurt Airport is fourth in Europe, and the obvious leader in Germany. In 2016 alone, 60.8 million passengers traveled through the airport. The airport is also a leader – or rather a pioneer – in the area of pastille flooring. In one sense, the product’s triumphant march to success began in the Hessian metropolis in 1969. Managers in the airport continue to share consistently positive experiences – they even drew up a letter explicitly recommending the pastille flooring to other companies. Why? Not only are norament floor coverings particularly resistant and non-slip, even when wet shoes bring dampness and moisture into the terminal, they are also very comfortable to walk on and absorb footfall sound very well. Another argument in their favor that is particularly relevant for airports is the fire safety factor: norament floors are fire-toxicologically safe. Due to their extremely dense surface, even the dropped cigarettes of past decades could not mar them. Even today nubs can be seen at Frankfurt Airport – on many of the jetways, they ensure safety at every step.
Willis Building, Ipswich, Great Britain
Builder: Willis Faber & Dumas Ltd.
Architect: Foster + Partners
Installation: 1975, new installation: 1998
Product: norament 925, color 0846
Area: 22,255 m²
Application areas: Entrance areas, utility rooms
Charming old alleys, inviting pubs, more museums than one might expect, a traditional football club: there are certainly many good reasons to visit Ipswich. But for architecture students from every corner of the world, the city on the east coast of England has one very special attraction: Friars Street. Today, number 15 Friars Street is the headquarters of the British financial services provider Willis Towers Watson. Planned by Norman Foster and partners and built in 1975, the building is considered a pioneer in the field of office architecture and is protected as a piece of international cultural heritage. With its open spaces, few floors, roof garden with restaurant, and groundbreaking materials such as norament pastille flooring, the star British architect’s design was years ahead of its time. Foster wanted a flooring material that could be used everywhere, from the foyer to the utility rooms. Foster also had the future in mind and was prepared for technological progress: years later, the transition from typewriters to electronic word processing systems went smoothly – made possible by the double floors installed in the building, which provided space for computer cables. This design detail was revolutionary in the mid-1970s. So was the color of the floors, the so-called Ipswich Green, which Foster developed with nora systems and which he used to bring nature into the interior. When the building was expanded in 1998, nora systems provided flooring in the original color and format. The legendary green is part of the standard nora range to this day.
Photo: Foster + Partners
Macquarie Bank, Sydney, Australia
Builder: Macquarie Group Ltd
Architect: Clive Wilkinson Architects
Products: norament 926, colors 6639, 0702, norament 926 stairtreads, colors 6639, 0702, 0716, noraplan unita, colors 6450, 6454
Area: 140 m² norament, 311 stairtreads, 3,239 m² noraplan unita
Application areas: Stairwells, foyer, offices
Naturally, the distinctive, high-quality, “Made in Germany” product also has a stronghold on the fifth continent. Welcome to Australia! At the headquarters of the prestigious Macquarie Bank in Sydney, the 311 steps of the centrally located atrium staircase are a very special eye-catcher, artfully staged by a special lighting design scheme. Both nora product lines were used here – evidence of the ease with which norament and noraplan can be combined. The highlight here is color: by using unusual accent tones such as orange and red that contrast with the otherwise understated interior, the staircase becomes a design element. Safety stripes in dark gray on the orange pastille floor provide additional security in the stairwell – they improve the slip resistance and provide a visual accent, making each step more visible. Echoing the Sydney design, the responsible architecture firm, Clive Wilkinson, has already made the atrium of the British branch of the bank in London into a key design element. Here as well, the special red floor, on which numerous customers stand and walk every day, is an impressive and striking presence.
Rand Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
Builder: The City of Johannesburg
Products: norament 825, colors 0866, 0749, norament 825 hammered, colors 0702, 0866, 0170
Area: 400 m²
Application areas: Entry areas, changing rooms, fitness studios
Johannesburg’s Rand Stadium, where football was first played in the late 1940s, was reopened two years before the kick-off of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The architects planned for extensive renovations to prepare the 30,000-seat stadium to be used during the World Cup, primarily as a training ground. Today, thanks to its modern facilities, the stadium is considered to be one of the best arenas in the country. For South Africa’s national team, popularly known as “Bafana Bafana,” Rand Stadium is a favorite training location, and fans are regularly able to watch official matches in the small but excellent stadium. Professional boxing matches are also held there. During the renovations, 400 square meters of norament were also installed at one fell swoop. Flooring was chosen that complements the design of the interior, with colored accents in red and gray.
Urban Planning Exhibition Center, Shanghai, China
Architect: Shanghai Art-Designing Co., Ltd.
Products: norament 925, color 0882, norament grano, color 1342, norament meta, color 0890, norament lago, color 4615
Area: 7,200 m²
Application areas: Exhibition rooms
Shanghai is a vibrant metropolis. In the middle of the city is a six-story building, the Urban Planning Exhibition Center. The two lower levels are home to a world-class museum, which contains – in addition to exhibitions of contemporary art – an exhibition showcasing the planning and rapid growth of the Chinese mega-city, with a huge model replica of the city as its highlight. There is no question that Shanghai is booming, and Shanghai is growing. Always faster, higher, further, and always more and more diverse. Visitors can see this diversity even in the floor of the museum, where 7,200 square meters of various high-quality norament products are used – in many different colors and designs over a subtle gray base. For example, norament grano is used for maximum load areas, with a hammered surface and richly contrasting granular pattern. The Urban Planning Exhibition Center is an example of the wonderful and playful ways in which the colors and products that are “Made in Weinheim” can be combined. In addition to norament grano, three other norament products in various colors are used, and all harmonize perfectly with one another.
Special edition to celebrate
To celebrate this birthday, nora systems has brought a new color onto the market. Shimmering particles made of real granite are incorporated into the high-quality stone gray rubber tiles for the special edition. “The new design with its extraordinary look is ideally suited for showcase areas,” according to CEO Andreas Mueller.