The UK’s 1st Oculus staircase deserves an entrance to match it
Established in 1883, Cardiff University is considered one of Britain’s leading research universities. Looking to build on this reputation, and it’s standing as one of the top 100 universities in the world, the University embarked on a multimillion-pound project to convert a disused industrial space into a new state-of-the-art campus, promoting Cardiff’s role as a centre for innovation.
Designed by award-winning architects Hawkins-Brown and built by Bouygues UK Limited, a construction firm with a track record in urban regeneration, the innovation campus is set to provide cutting edge facilities to further academic research and support social enterprise. Among its many features, the innovation hub will make history by being home to the UK’s first oculus staircase.
INTRAsystems was engaged to provide the entrance matting solutions for the building’s main entrances and pass doors, as well as the impressive entrance lobby.
With an emphasis on finding a high-quality entrance matting solution capable of withstanding concentrated volumes of footfall, INTRAsystems was engaged by the Innovation Campus’s main flooring contractor, Craftsman Flooring.
The brief required two types of entrance matting system; one that could occupy the two revolving doors in the building’s main entrance, and another inside the lobby’s matwell, beyond the revolving doors.
One of the key considerations with the revolving doors was an ability to keep moisture at bay even after the building had closed, as the doors would leave an area of exposed entrance matting when locked shut. Crucially, this meant that the entrance mat would need to be capable of preventing moisture from accumulating and spreading into the building.
Entrance Matting Specification
For the revolving doors’, INTRAform Entrance Matting with rubber inserts was selected. Rubber inserts are highly effective at wiping away large dirt particles and moisture, while the entrance mat fibre inserts in the matting beyond ensure any remaining moisture does not track through to the flooring beyond.
For the pass doors, side doors, and main entrance lobby (beyond the revolving doors) INTRAform DM Entrance Matting with INTRAlux linear was specified. This combination of recessed aluminium matting with ribbed fibre inserts is a cost-effective solution that provides excellent secondary moisture absorption whilst also echoing the sculptural design aesthetic of the reception space.
One challenge the flooring contractor encountered when installing the entrance matting was navigating a vertical air curtain just inside the door. Originally intended to be installed after the entrance matting was laid, the proximity of the air curtain to the revolving doors meant the installers had to work within an incredibly narrow opening.
This made what should have been a simple installation, a little more challenging! Nonetheless, the flooring contractor was able to install the matting successfully, due to INTRAsystems’ simple plank format which is always much more straightforward to work with than tension-wire systems.