Germany | Education | norament® grano™

The library as a happy place

From Garbsen to Guangzhou: Pleasant atmosphere and good acoustics thanks to rubber floors

Not obsolete, but a model of success: just a few years ago, many experts prophesied the imminent end of libraries as a result of the increasing digitalization of the media. But they couldn’t have been more wrong – on the way to the knowledge society, on the contrary, libraries have become increasingly popular and are among the most visited cultural and educational institutions in Germany. Beginning as simple lending places for books, they have transformed themselves into learning, work, event, and communication spaces with high staying power. Their multiple educational tasks are not only practical in nature. In these public spaces, there is also a place for exchange and encounter. The operators and designers of new buildings and renovation projects for that reason increasingly attach importance to creative spatial concepts that meet both aesthetic and functional requirements. Floor coverings play an important role here; not only do they make the ambience distinctive, but their technical properties can also contribute to a pleasant atmosphere. Rubber floor coverings from nora systems have been installed in many libraries around the world. From Germany to Italy to China, nora rubber floors, with their wide color and design range, ensure an attractive interior, good room acoustics for quiet learning and working, and healthy indoor air quality for a “clear head”. more

Colors and inlays: Interior design that is fun and inspiring

More than 2,000 square meters of nora® floors have been installed in the addition to the municipal library in Garbsen, Lower Saxony. There, medium-gray norament ® 926 grano makes a tasteful contrast to the modern furniture and strikingly colorful lamps, as well as to the sky-blue carpets in the children’s reading area. The municipal libraries in Hanau, in Oberhausen- Sterkrade, and in the north Italian region of Lovere are using color inlay solutions. In the library at the Kulturforum Hanau, rubber flooring in orange and yellow, interrupted by rose-colored rectangles and accent strips, creates a warm, joyful ambience. The staircase with rose-colored treads and yellow risers is also a real eye-catcher. In the Sterkrade library, the planners chose rubber flooring in various shades of blue. In the entrance area, visitors are guided to the reception desk by zebra stripes in light blue and white that have been integrated into the dark blue floor. The seven different colors of the graphically patterned floors in the Lovere library are also an extraordinary sight.

With their large range of more than 300 colors in the standard assortment, various surface variants, and the possibility of integrating patterned motifs, logos, or guides of all kinds into the flooring, nora® floors open up numerous design options – each building displays its special and unique character. Creative inlay installation is made possible by the fact that nora® rubber linings do not contain plasticizers (phthalates). They are thus not only healthy, but also permanently dimensionally stable, and can therefore be installed without joints – for a uniform appearance of the installed surface.

Good room acoustics for a relaxed reading and learning experience

In addition to creative design, room acoustics also plays a central role, particularly in very large libraries, because high levels of noise are stressful and can significantly impact the well-being of visitors. That is why, in places where many people come together, building materials that give some relief are in demand. That flooring can have positive impact on noise levels was demonstrated by a comparative noise test with various elastic floors carried out by Intertek, a research lab in Cortland/New York, in 2015. The new, approved test method measures noise levels within a room produced by the movement of people or objects on the floor. The conclusion: rubber floor coverings from nora systems produced the best results.

At approximately 100,000 square meters and with a collection of more than four million books, the Guangzhou Library is the largest public library in the world. The extraordinary design of the building, bordering a major promenade in the Chinese city of eight-and-a-half million, is the result of an international architectural competition won by the Japanese architectural office Nikken Sekkei in 2005. For the flooring, the planners opted for a resistant norament® covering in dark grey. Due to its permanent elasticity, the rubber floor reduces noise produced by walking, so that despite the more than 10,000 visitors a day, a pleasant quiet reigns in the library. Another great advantage: nora® floor coverings contain no chloroorganic compounds and so meet the highest fire protection requirements.

Libraries and bookshops have begun to reinvent themselves in recent years. They were able to expand their attractiveness as “places of encounter” – also visually. New construction concepts, which create a feel-good atmosphere using creative color and interior design ideas and innovative building materials such as nora® rubber floors, contribute to this.

Data and facts

Building Oberhausen-Sterkrade and Garbsen City Libraries, Kulturforum Hanau, Lovere Library, and Guangzhou Library


norament® grano™

Rubber flooring for extremely heavy traffic areas, with hammered surface and a granular design rich in contrast.

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