Clients dream in colour. To make their dreams come to life, Bolidt offers unparalleled design options – the result of years of innovation. What role does colour play in Bolidt’s projects? And what is involved in developing and producing all those special colours?
In architecture, colours are used in all kinds of ways to make an impact. They can enhance the shape of a building, making it even more of an eyecatcher. Colours can give whole neighbourhoods a new identity, as happened, for example, in the favela in Rio de Janeiro with its brightly painted houses and colourful murals. Or closer to home in Almere-Stad, where various districts were given their own colour. Interior architects also use colour to create an effect and evoke emotion. We feel more at home when warm colours have been used indoors. Red makes us hungry, while blue stands for safety and green for harmony.
Bolidt, too, is aware of the functional and aesthetic impact of colour. Because the company has full control over the synthetic floors it produces, from development and production to installation, it can offer architects infinite design possibilities. Each client makes grateful use of this in their own way.
Erasmus MC in Rotterdam chose Bolidt floor and wall systems in timeless, calm colours that pair perfectly with this, the largest academic hospital in the Netherlands. The Nhow Hotel in Amsterdam, developed by OMA Architects, was given the aesthetic Bolidt design floor it deserved. The operators of Huis van Europa, the building that houses the European Parliament Liaison Office in The Hague, came to Bolidt with yet another wish: they wanted to bring the history of the EU and the European Parliament to life with an interactive map of Europe – on the floor. For this project Bolidt supplied its Bolidtop® Print flooring system that allows any drawing or other image to be turned into a beautifully finished, high quality floor. Finally, in the Vredenburg Hoog Catharijne car park in Utrecht Bolidt applied a range of colours, not only to clearly mark off parking spaces, lanes and pedestrian walkways, but also to enhance the sense of safety for visitors thanks to the bright colours that give the parking garage its fresh look.
In the nearly 60 years of its existence, Bolidt has elevated the development of colours to a science. Bolidt has a mission to replace traditional materials with sustainable alternatives, and the company continuously strives for innovations in the areas of safety, sustainability, energy & data, hygiene, and in the field of design too.
The upshot of this urge for innovation is that Bolidt can now supply virtually every colour imaginable and even offer synthetic floors and walls in fluorescent colours, with a mother-of-pearl sheen or with 3D effects, or incorporate special patterns or prints into the finish.
Innovation: it’s what Bolidt is all about. And the innovation in the area of colour is often customer-driven as well. Wouter Nugteren, team leader for domestic commerce, talks to clients every day about their colour needs and wishes. ‘Colour plays an important role in our projects. Clients often have the most extraordinary imaginings: they want a floor in a crazy colour or with a special effect. And on top of this the floor needs to meet various functional requirements. For example, schools want their pupils to be able to concentrate well and feel safe. A floor in the right colour ensures calm in the classroom, which boosts the children’s performance in class.
For bringing the wishes of clients to life the Bolidt Innovation Center is the place to be. For larger projects, we invite clients to Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht where, at the Bolidt Innovation Center, they can experience what it’s like to work with synthetic materials and, together with our R&D department, investigate how we can convert their designs into functional and aesthetic floors.’
One of Bolidt’s regular clients is Tillberg Design of Sweden, a renowned design agency that designs interiors mainly for luxury cruise ships. The design includes not only public spaces such as restaurants, lounges, bars, spas and swimming pools, but also luxurious private areas like suites and cabins.
Tillberg devises a unique design for each client. ‘We take the time to get to know the client and their design wishes’, says Fredrik Johansson, partner and art director of Tillberg Design. His company regularly opts for Bolidt’s synthetic systems for its interior designs. Johansson: ‘Bolidt offers us countless colour and design options, which means that the systems can be perfectly customised. The passenger experience on board a cruise ship is becoming increasingly important. We can design Bolidt floors tailor made for our clients and this way create a truly unique atmosphere and experience.’
The actual development of colours is done at Bolidt’s R&D department. The design options have grown explosively over the years, says R&D chemist Pieter den Boer. ‘Some 50 years ago, the synthetic floor was only available in grey. Design and the role of colour have become increasingly important. To serve our customers, we use sixteen pigments. We mix these powders in all different proportions to supply all 1,950 NCS standard colours.’
Producing the colours is the work of colour specialist Erthan Elbir. ‘Producing colours is often a matter of trial and error,’ he explains. ‘But we always arrive at the exact colour the client wants. The most difficult to make are the fluorescent colours, but we have developed special pigments for these too. I am most proud of our design floor for the Mercedes-Benz Museum. It was quite a challenge to develop all the specific colours for this exceptional building. I am also proud of the fact that we regularly produce colours for the buildings of leading architecture and design firm Zaha Hadid Architects.’
The employees of the R&D department all have their own specialism and special roles. Davey Baan, for example, is a ‘system impressionist’, or in simple terms a ‘sample maker’. He is responsible for small-scale system impressions made at the client’s request. As a ‘pigment specialist’, his colleague Yvonne van Blijswijk is responsible for testing colour pigments and developing the colour pastes needed to be able to supply the synthetic materials in the desired colours and with the desired properties. ‘Pigments are supplied in powder form. Consistently mixing a powder into our synthetics is an error-prone process. By continuing to innovate, we have been able to convert all pigment powders into sixteen stable pigment pastes. With these sixteen pastes we are now able to faultlessly produce any colour desired.’
P.O. Box 131
3340 AC Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht
Bolidt Innovation Center
3341 LW The Netherlands
TEL +31 (0)78 684 54 44