Redefining architecture

Rubber floor coverings from nora systems installed in numerous prestige buildings in China

Weinheim, March, 2013 – China is currently experiencing a construction boom, with two billion square metres of new buildings being completed every year. In two years, that roughly equates to the total building space in Germany. This means there is much scope for contemporary architecture. Particularly in the large cities, architects famous the world over have erected many trendsetting buildings such as the China Palace of Fine Arts in Shanghai, the Opera House in Guangzhou or the Water Cube national swimming centre in Beijing. All of these buildings have one thing in common: the floor. Visitors walk and stand on floor coverings made of rubber from nora systems.

Made-to-measure solutions as a recipe for success

Products from the Weinheim-based company have been installed in many of China’s public buildings and at practically every major airport. The basis for the success of rubber floor coverings “Made in Germany” are on the one hand their excellent quality, and on the other the personal customer relationships that have been nurtured over the years and are particularly crucial in the Middle Kingdom. Every major architecture project requires made-to-measure solutions – and these are provided by nora systems. The company was the only floor covering manufacturer worldwide capable of producing the 8,000 Chinese characters for the names of the 20 Chinese cities with over one million inhabitants and then integrating them as inlays into the floor covering of the Chinese pavilion in Shanghai, the landmark of Expo 2010, as required by the architect He Jingtang.

And when in 2012 it came to establishing a new museum - the China Palace of Fine Arts - in the former Expo pavilion and fitting it with a floor covering, the Chinese star architect again chose nora. The norament crossline rubber floor covering in a warm shade of brown creates a pleasant atmosphere in the showrooms, and with its handcrafted-like surface it reflects the light depending on the viewer’s position. And like all other nora floor coverings it is extremely resistant to wear, absorbs footfall noise and is easy to clean. Due to their outstanding resilience, nora rubber coverings are supremely comfortable and make walking and standing much less of a strain for the museum’s visitors.

From the opera house to the swimming arena: high scores for rubber

The high level of footfall noise absorption offered by nora floor coverings also convinced the world-famous architect Zaha Hadid. For the corridors and changing rooms of the avant-garde Opera House in Guangzhou she chose three different dark grey rubber coverings, which form an appealing contrast to the futuristic white ambience and provide for good acoustics.

But public buildings are not the only places where nora floor coverings are to be found in China. Their extreme durability also makes them perfectly suited for sports arenas such as the Water Cube national swimming centre, which was built for the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing. The architects from China State Construction Engineering Corp. (PWT) found that the linoleum floor coverings initially installed in the arena did not have the desired quality of appearance and so they had them removed again before the opening.

The planners sought a product that would underline the high-end surroundings of the swimming arena. A visit to the departure terminal at Beijing Airport persuaded them that the quality and design of the nora coverings was what they had been looking for, and they chose them for the Water Cube as well. In total, 10,000 square metres of noraplan mega in a very light grey, almost white in its overall appearance, were installed. Navigation lines are integrated in the floor coverings as inlays – a feature popular with many of nora’s customers.

Another key criterion for all the architects was that nora floor coverings have low emission levels and have been awarded numerous international Green Design certificates. Environmental protection and sustainable building are gaining ground in China and the demand for appropriate products and technologies is rising steadily. The prospects are looking good for nora systems on its continuing course for success in the Middle Kingdom.*

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