St James Theatre Wellington
Installation: St James Theatre, Wellington
Specifier: Shand Shelton
Contractor: Hills Commercial Floors
Product: Marmoleum by Forbo
Photographer: Paul McCredie
Forbo’s Marmoleum collection has been used to create a stunning new patterned floor at the St James Theatre in Wellington. Shand Shelton, as the project Architects and Theatre Consultants, have been involved in the restrengthening of the Theatre since 2016, with the construction phase beginning in 2019. However, the scope for a new, replacement Marmoleum patterned floor was not introduced until October 2021, just 10 months before the Theatres reopening and at the height of material supply challenges caused by Covid-19.
Despite these challenges, Shand Shelton designed a beautiful new floor that perfectly complements the Theatres existing design features. The original Marmoleum patterned floor was first installed as part of the Theatre's redevelopment completed in 1998 and was a key design feature of the foyer space. The new Marmoleum patterned floor had to continue this role as a leading design feature, with colour selection playing a significant part.
With over 300 patterns and colours to choose from, Shand Shelton were able to combine the neutral, modern setting of the foyer space with aspects of the Theatre’s new auditorium palette of colours, integrating warm undertones and golden highlights to connect the two distinct spaces.
The multipurpose nature of the foyer space, combined with its existing spatial irregularities, meant that the new patterned Marmoleum design had to be successful as a standalone element. The patterning had to be intricate enough to animate the space but simple enough to encompass the foyers vastness. The pattern also had to be practical and consider the installation time frame.
To achieve this, Shand Shelton produced three key pattern components which would seamlessly interlock and repeat. Each pattern component was an evolution of layers, allowing for the most complex pattern to be centred within the space, aligned with the main entrance, and reduce to its core design motifs as it cascaded outward to the periphery.
The new foyer café and bar joinery unit provided an opportunity to incorporate the new Marmoleum flooring in an innovative way extending the Marmoleum up onto the bar joinery itself. A bold design choice that paid off, creating a cohesive and visually striking space that beautifully counterbalances the Theatre’s auditorium to create a unique and inviting atmosphere for visitors.
To assist in its installation, the bespoke pattern was converted to a cutting schedule, with all 2000+ individual pieces waterjet cut and numerated. The design and installation process demonstrated the true breadth of possibilities Marmoleum offers, with limitless design flexibility and, with good planning, simple installation. Marmoleum proved its enduring worth both in 1998 and again in 2022.
Forbo’s Marmoleum collection is a high-performance resilient flooring and surface material with ultimate sustainability credentials and incredible design options. Made from 97% natural ingredients, Marmoleum is Carbon Neutral - cradle to gate, making it the ideal sustainable flooring choice for this unique project.
Congratulations to Hills Commercial Floors and Shand Shelton on an exceptional result, thank you for choosing Forbo’s Flooring Systems, Marmoleum.