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Modular carpeting laying pathways to excellence at QUT College

Included in the newly refurbished QUT College, modular carpeting from Milliken-Ontera has helped create a place where new relationships are formed, excellence is achieved, and life-long memories are made.

Located at Queensland University of Technology’s Kelvin Grove campus, QUT College offers premium English language and academic pathway programs for students intending to transition into degrees.

Boasting a rich mix of international and local students, the College values diversity and encourages an active student lifestyle. It provides a range of services and facilities intended to make the move into the broader University as smooth and fulfilling as possible.

In line with this mission, QUT College’s P Block facilities recently underwent a major refurbishment, courtesy of Buildcorp and PDT Architects.

“All existing spaces across the college’s three levels were reconfigured and reimagined. Covering 2360m² in total, this included classrooms, student break out and study spaces, public amenities, staff areas and meeting rooms, open plan offices, and tea/kitchen areas,” explained Brooke Proctor, PDT Architects’ Senior Interior Designer.

“In terms of design, we began with an understanding that those who pass through the College are in a key phase of their lives – a time of change, in which key relationships are formed and new directions are found. This led us to focus on the concepts of growth and development.”

To do so, she and her team took inspiration from nature. Leveraging a range of elements – texture, form, natural and artificial, transparency and opacity, and so on – they reference the serendipitous connections that are so common in the natural world.

Modular carpeting by Milliken-Ontera

“The college’s main foyer is the perfect example of this. Newly refurbished, it now features a 6m high metal sculpture of a Queensland Bottle Tree as its centrepiece. While referencing the local landscape, the sculpture also symbolises the nurturing pathways from the College into the broader University. It helps define the building as a place of learning, creativity, and growth,” said Proctor.

Throughout the College, the designers have specified modular carpeting from Milliken-Ontera. In total, these carpet tiles cover 950m² of floor space.

For the foyer, they chose two designs from the Water Yuludarla collection, namely Jagun (Birthplace) and Bindarray (River). Created as part of Milliken-Ontera’s “Reconciliation Through Design” initiative and the result of collaboration between the company, the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance, and the National Aboriginal Design Agency, the collection is based on the original work of Brentyn Lugnan, a Gumbaynggirr artist, from the NSW Mid-North Coast.

These Water Yuludarla designs are the ideal choice in this context. Laid around the base of the Bottle Tree, essentially as ‘groundcover’, the Jagun design (JAG146-100 Blush colourway) complements other finishes within the foyer perfectly. Incorporating the dot elements from Brentyn’s artwork in the foreground, its layered patterning complements the perforated metal leaf branches of the sculpture above.

Meanwhile, away from the central sculpture and towards the walls of the foyer, the Bindarray design (BIN146-100 Blush colourway) contrasts effectively with the Jagun design.

“It’s lined patterning, which recalls the movement of a river, provides a subtle path of travel for those entering the building,” said Proctor. “The colours of the blush tile compliment other finishes throughout the space. They provide a nice contrast with the other floor finishes and help ground the feature tree.”

Beyond the double height open foyer, there are views into various staff areas, collaborative classrooms, and communal study areas. Here, the designers use various products (from Milliken-Ontera’s Colour Compositions, Arctic Survey, and Free Flow collections) to both define these different zones and suggest paths of travel. Cleverly, as in the foyer, they take full advantage of the fact that these various collections – some tiles and some planks – are designed to make such design flourishes possible.

All adhere to QUT’s design guidelines and received approval from its Facilities Management Department. And all have proven a good aesthetic fit. The organic feel of the carpeting from the Colour Compositions range, for example, ties in effortlessly with the overall design’s key themes of connection and growth.

Fast, efficient customisation

“This wasn’t the first time we’d worked with Milliken-Ontera. We’d done so many times before, so we knew that their service was second to none,” said Proctor. Therefore, when a challenge arose in the form of the unavailability of one of the originally specified carpets, she was confident that a solution would soon be found.

She wasn’t disappointed. Milliken-Ontera recommended a customised solution to fill the void. Engaging their Sydney-based design team, they were able to complete the whole customisation process – from initial design to the production of trial tiles, to design tweaks and manufacture – within the five-week window of opportunity.

“The customisation experience was simple and efficient, from concept through to final sampling. Milliken Ontera’s design service was exceptional. The digital representations they supplied streamlined the process and the final outcome was exactly as we had hoped,” said Proctor

For Milliken-Ontera, this was all part of its normal service offering. In fact, the company would have been able to comfortably handle the customisation task in as littleas three weeks. Known as Milliken Couture, this process steps clients through four well-defined stages, from concept and design to refinement and production. Comprehensive, responsive, and aligned with Milliken-Ontera’s unique PrintWorks™ technology, it ensures a textured, plush result every time.

Combined with the design expertise offered by PDT Architects, the carpeting has helped ensure that QUT College will remain an ideal setting for collaboration, growth, and achievement for many years to come.

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