Scandi end grain cladding on stadium style seating creates a smart rubik's cube design Greenwich SE10
This project was a special request from a special customer for a special floor. Our client was a multi-national company with a very good reputation for great design with a conscience. They only partner with companies that match their core values of creativity and sustainability. We were honoured to be considered like minded partners and to be invited to carry out this bespoke project.
Scandinavian end grain cladding on stadium style seating
End grain is perfect for public spaces
The structure of end grain is highly suitable for public spaces
We do not usually have requests for end grain floors in a public space. Here in the UK end grain is still considered a special floor but in Scandinavian countries it is much more common. Although we notice colleagues in America use end grain for all sorts of coverings even to pave streets! We agree the structure of end grain is highly suitable for public spaces and it provides a stronger floor than normal planks of the same wood species. Imagine how a bunch of straws bound together vertically makes it hard to crush yet bound horizontally they are easy to bend. By using end grain pine blocks we can achieve hard wood out of soft wood.
Stadium style seating for new social hub
The customer wanted to develop a new social hub on their premises alongside some individual workspaces. They wanted stadium style seating cladded in end grain to encourage customers to stop and sit a while. We were given the bare structure of the seat-steps ready for cladding. We worked very closely with the customer’s team of designers and adapted our skills and knowledge to their particular needs. As we manufacture end grain blocks ourselves all our end grain floors, including this one, are bespoke from start to finish.
The new social seating is positioned alongside individual workspaces
The seating integrates charging points for personal devices
FSC sustainable pine
We presented various samples of the product with different colours and dimensions. The customer opted for a prime grade square pine end grain block 92 x 92mm with a thickness of 15mm. Prime grade pine has less character with no knots and very little sap wood but it clearly provides a superior pattern of the grains. We sourced the raw material which was FSC Scandinavian pine and manufactured the blocks off-site ready for installation. Pine is a much more sustainable and replaceable material as pine is a fast growing tree compared to oak which needs 100 years to mature. In addition, depending on the selected grade, 65-80% of the log is used for planks but for end grain blocks up to 90% of the log can be used.
We used square pine end grain block 92 x 92mm with a thickness of 15mm.
Prime grade pine clearly provides a superior pattern of the grains.
Rubik’s cube design
The team of designers wanted to enhance the square shape of the stadium stairs by laying the end grain in a grid pattern rather than staggered rows. Stacking the cubes of pine in this way gave an uncanny impression of a neat pile of rubik's cubes. An added complexity was that the design also had to accommodate a combination of larger steps and smaller steps and a slight bend in the middle. In order to maintain the visual effect of straight lines, we discretely adjusted the dimension of some of the blocks to avoid any imperfections. Can you spot any? We worked patiently to overcome the challenges in each row and make all the lines meet.
We laid the end grain in a grid pattern which gave the impression of rubik’s cubes.
The design had to accommodate a combination of larger steps and smaller steps and a slight bend in the middle.
Great tools, great teamwork
Once the installation was complete we started sanding. This took twice the amount of time than a normal floor due to the exposed grains in end grain. But we were prepared with the right equipment and the right workforce for the task. This was one of those jobs where we really appreciate the quality of Festool and Lagler tools, equipment that does not fail.
We really appreciate the quality of Festool and Lagler tools.
The exposed grains in end grain made sanding a challenge.
End grain blocks tend to be more sensitive to variations of humidity in the air and can develop small gaps. We used a flexible filler to allow some movement but still keep the floor in a pristine condition. Once we were satisfied with the sanding and filling we applied the oil. It was finished with osmo wood wax white 3111 and osmo polyx oil satin anti-slip.
We used a flexible filler to allow some movement.
The floor was finished with osmo wood wax and osmo polyx oil anti-slip.
The customer was delighted with the finished product. The senior project manager said: “The final result is beyond expectations, they are great professionals and I would really recommend them to everyone”.
The customer was delighted with the finished product.
“They are great professionals”
“I would really recommend them to everyone”
“The final result is beyond expectations”
Location: Greenwich SE10