Tromsø, Norway – A headline in Norway's largest newspaper, the 150-year-old Dagbladet, asked readers: 'Is this Norway's best school?' Tromstun High serves 400 students in the eighth to tenth grades an hour outside Tromsø, by the looks of it, we think it might be. A pioneering model of education, the school combines theoretical learning and science labs with a spectrum of physical activities from sand volleyball court to spinning and dancehall and even offers classes for students only recently arrived in country.
'The building has a strong architectural look with an identity-creating character,' says a spokesperson for HLM Arkitektur. HLM designed the building to be easily adapted to educational and organisational needs: its six learning zones, over a total area of 8500 sq-m, can fit up to 90 students. The architects decided to brighten, open up and energize more than half the building by specifying 4800 sq-m of Artigo's Granito X-Elastic flooring in the G311 off-white and G367 orange colourways for use in the classrooms and library.
Today, it has become increasingly obvious to school districts and municipalities around the world that the reduction of noise due to treading is an important element of design to promote users' comfort and wellbeing. In the case of a high school, where silence and focus are required daily, if not hourly. Artigo's acoustic rubber floorings offer extremely high performance with equally good looks.
Artigo describes the Granito model as 'one of the great archetypes' of rubber flooring. It's simple solid-colour surface is spackled with tiny rubber particles of contrasting hue. The aim behind Granito was to create a smooth surface by which users can sense a dynamic, ever-shifting look depending on the angle. For HLM's designers, the range offered a solution that would allow them to use and combine colours freely and imaginatively to foster exactly the mood they were envisioning for each area.
But Artigo's rubber offers more practical advantages: It prevents slipping and makes for resilient and durable surfacing – some Artigo floors have lasted more than 40 years.
Rubber flooring is naturally non-porous, so aside from being easy-to-clean, it is hygienic and refuses to give bacteria and microbes any toehold in the material. Granito's smooth surfaces, which do not contain plasticizers, limit cracks and crevicing that might occur in other materials. Yet another virtue is that Artigo floors can also help architects rack up LEED credits and BREEAM certification. They are rated A+ and certified Blue Angel and Greenguard Gold under French regulations, while also counting toward credits in a number of architectural environmental sustainability rating systems.