Students at the University of Westminster’s Marylebone Campus may not appreciate the feat of ingenuity they walk on every day. The floor of the refurbished campus has been created from resin based terrazzo, one of the most durable materials currently available.
Resin based terrazzo originally became popular within major pharmaceutical companies and blue chip businesses requiring a hygienic manufacturing environment. This material can be laid as a single piece over a large area and with few joints, offering the major benefit of being relatively easy to keep clean.
The requirement at Marylebone Campus was the flooring element of a project undertaken by main contractor Vinci Construction – the conversion of an external courtyard into an internal area that includes a library, café, study section and general circulation area. Flowcrete supplied its highly decorative epoxy resin floor finish, Mondéco Crystal Ice, an 8mm blend of mirrored and clear glass chippings offering durability with an anti-slip and scratch resistant profile.
Installation of the resin floor was undertaken by London specialist Resin Flooring UK. The floor totalled approximately 2200m² and although the surface is not completely joint-free due to intersection between substrates, areas of up to 1000m² are seamless.
A number of detailed elements of the installation required the niche skills of London marble and terrazzo expert, Diespeker. These included the treads and risers for a low gradient ramp of almost 18m in length, an unusual design combining slope and steps; as the ramp height increases, stairs begin to form on the side of the ramp. This is believed to be the first of its kind, presenting a challenge for Diespeker’s installation team.
Diespeker was also responsible for the skirting, wall strings and creation of half-moon shapes that were used in pairs to provide skirting around circular columns of around 1.5 meters circumference. The resin based terrazzo for these elements was pre-polished at Diespeker’s Bermondsey factory, while the main flooring was polished by Resin Flooring UK’s floor grinding machines to achieve the required smooth and glossy finish.
The flooring installation took a total of four months with around eight stages requiring work to be carried out on consecutive days to ensure quality. Diespeker’s skills were called on during the four weeks towards the end of the project, after the main floor had been installed.
Steve Aspinall from Resin Flooring UK says: “We were delighted when we found Diespeker right on our doorstep, and were so pleased with the company’s work at the University campus that we are continuing to work with them on all our upcoming resin flooring projects.”
Although resin based terrazzo is relatively expensive flooring, the cost is balanced by the durability and easy-to-clean finish. With correct maintenance, the system can last in excess of 25 years.