|Project:||Brookwood Baptist Church|
|Location:||Mountain Brook, Alabama|
|DESIGNER / ARCHITECT:||CTSM Architects, Inc.|
|ARMSTRONG FLOORING:||Standard EXCELON Imperial Texture|
Education has always been at the core of Brookwood Baptist Church’s mission. Maybe that’s because the church’s 85 charter members first met at the Brookwood Forest Elementary School in 1968. The congregation soon constructed a series of their own buildings including educational spaces to accommodate the burgeoning number of parishioners. By 1987, classrooms and other education spaces encompassed multiple areas within the church’s growing complex. Twenty-plus years later, in 2009, the congregation decided it was time to undertake a major renovation to consolidate the various pre-school and children’s educational areas that were located in three different facilities on multiple floors. One of the requests made to the design team was to use bright and cheery colors with imagination. “The mix of bright Armstrong Standard EXCELON Imperial Texture Rave® and Standard EXCELON Imperial Texture VCT tie colors were the inspiration for a new, whimsical, welcoming space,” says Dwayne Timothy, Principal, CTSM Architects, Inc., Birmingham, Ala.
Brookwood Baptist Church’s education facilities didn’t quite resemble a “Habitrail®” hamster maze, but more than 40 years of incremental growth led to in a multi-building, multi-floor education scenario that was very inefficient. Plus, the need to move from building-to-building presented security and safety issues for the littlest members of the congregation. The church members wanted to reorganize with the goal of creating one, new, consolidated learning center. They also wanted the new educational space to be an inviting environment intentionally designed for children, beginning with a new front door entrance and continuing throughout all of the preschool and children’s suites.
CTSM Architects designed a completely new education building interior including an early children’s center. Curving walls, fun shapes and bright colors predominate. Interior windows, many of them in fun geometric shapes located at toddler height, allow natural light into the interior corridors and classrooms. The floor colors and the patterns play a major role in the overall design scheme. “All of the colors contribute to a playful atmosphere but they also are conducive for creating indoor games that teach the children, such as ‘what’s this color’ or ‘name that shape.’ The floor colors and patterns also create directional wayfinding that help kids find their classrooms and other educational areas,” says Timothy.
“It was a natural fit for us to use RAVE® and Imperial Texture colors because the products have the vibrant color palette desired by the client. Armstrong has unique color choices not offered by other manufacturers and the challenge of intentionally creating a new environment that is child-friendly was fulfilled in part by having the broad color spectrum that Armstrong offers.” says Timothy. CTSM used a comprehensive color palette visually connecting the floors, walls and ceilings together. The paint colors for the curvy walls that playfully meander through the education suite, as well as the paint colors on the whimsical ceiling shapes and other interior finishes were chosen to match the floor colors.
Eight colors of Standard EXCELON Imperial Texture Rave and Standard EXCELON Imperial Texture VCT are used in Brookwood’s renovated education suite. Two, neutral colors are installed as field tiles in the preschool and children’s corridors, classrooms and assembly rooms: Standard EXCELON Imperial Texture VCT 51811 antique white and 51800 buttercream yellow. Six primary and secondary colors are used as accent tiles, wayfinding and just for fun: Standard EXCELON Imperial Texture VCT 51880 maraschino, 51812 lemon yellow, and Standard EXCELON Imperial Texture Rave 57510 kickin’ kiwi, 57517 bodacious blue, and 57513 vicious violet and 57516 screamin’ pumpkin.
Many a design vision falls apart in the execution, especially an installation that requires square floor tiles to be custom-cut into other geometric shapes including curves. Classic Flooring in Birmingham, Ala., did not hesitate to say “yes” to this challenge. “We would not have been able to design as complicated a floor pattern as this without having the confidence in the installer to execute a beautiful installation. We contacted Victor Sharp at Classic Flooring to confirm his crews could install the meandering and whimsical shapes. We are extremely pleased with the results,” confirms Timothy.
Brookwood’s congregation wanted their facility to stand up to kids’ horseplay and look good until the next major renovation, especially the floors. Children crawl and play around on floors—it’s just part of being a kid—so the congregation incorporates floor-level activities into their preschool program. They demanded a floor that would be as functional as it was attractive. “That’s another reason why we chose Armstrong. I have used Armstrong products for more than 25 years and I know I can depend on the quality and performance,” says Timothy. Standard EXCELON VCT tile has legendary, true through-pattern construction that outperforms through-color only products. Maintenance is as easy as routine sweeping, mopping and an occasional polish.
The Brookwood Baptist Church project was completed in the summer of 2009; the interior portions fast tracked for completion prior to the beginning of the school year. “The Director of the preschool program, Diane Duke, said that many of the parents cried with joy when they first saw the renovated facility. The children love it too,” says Timothy. The children are now learning in a fun, safe environment, continuing the church’s mission to grow in knowledge as well as faith.
With more than 150 years of flooring industry experience, thousands of specifiers and end users have trusted Armstrong time and again for flooring solutions that meet their design, performance and budget needs. Our comprehensive portfolio includes commercial floor products specifically designed to create attractive, healthy and productive environments for students and teachers. The Standard EXCELON VCT family—a mainstay for education interiors—includes Imperial Texture, with the broadest selection of colors available that coordinate with the full portfolio of Armstrong floors; and Imperial Texture Rave®, featuring bold, inspiring colors with eye-popping intensity.