British flooring manufacturer Amtico’s latest product takes its cues from the brutalist movement
The company’s new ‘Modernist’ luxury vinyl tile (LVT) features a subtle texture inspired by light patterns on concrete, with tonal shifts giving way to soft angles and a multitude of layers, which playfully mirror the layered composition of the product itself.
Alice Bucklow, designer at Amtico, talks about her inspiration and the development of this new design, “In contrast to the clean, contemporary designs that have dominated interiors for the past decade, our research showed there was a market for something different. I began researching Brutalist architecture as its raw industrial surface textures and bold sculptural forms really appealed to me. Brutalist architecture is also a subject which is closely tied to Amtico’s history, in our home town of Coventry. There are many examples of this type of architecture within the city, being hurriedly rebuilt after its extensive destruction in the overnight bombing of World War Two. The city’s architecture is a constant topic of debate but, loved or loathed, it is part of our story; of a city triumphing against adversity.”
Bucklow continues, “I was particularly interested by the transformation of the buildings throughout the day. Light has a dramatic effect on the architecture. Through the channelling of light, the buildings create mesmerising diffused angles, veiled layers and a wonderful sense of tactility!
Alongside spending time understanding and photographing the city; assessing Brutalist architecture at various points throughout the day, l also researched geometrics. Geometrics are a timeless interior trend, interpreted through various scales, colours, textures and finishes. But what I focussed on was the way that they can be used to impact their surroundings. My research showed how pattern, angular shapes and directional placement can be used to create movement and flow within a space.
After the research stage I worked with the rest of the Amtico design team and we moved into artwork and design development, taking all of the information collected and letting it pour out into whatever form it took. My inspiration led me to work with industrial materials. I experimented with techniques which focussed on the idea of constructing a surface through the build-up of various materials, reflecting the rugged exteriors of the buildings as they have worn and aged over time.
The next stage was to develop the artwork into a physical design, which we did in-house using our digital software. After we created the initial product, we liaised with our many teams – the manufacturing team, laying pattern team, sales team, quality team, technical team and so on – as well as our regular customers, and the product evolved!”
Despite the design changing several times throughout the development process, Bucklow’s original inspiration was never been far from the team. “From my starting point, there were so many things that interested me about Brutalist architecture and geometrics, so I tried to keep an open mind as to what the finished product would eventually look like. I always came back to the focus of the brief throughout the process; to create a unique, but useable product, with features that could be transformed by laying patterns and work with various tile formats”.
Modernist’s realistic stone finish mirrors Britain’s urban landscapes. Each product is designed to work well in isolation or when combined with a variety of other flooring products in a captivating laying pattern.
Describing the finished product, Bucklow adds, “Modernist is a concrete, yet despite its conceptual beginnings and development story, it is unique for its usability. Its refined texture is evenly balanced while the gradations of tone and diffused angles give it a unique aesthetic elevating it beyond more traditional concrete designs.”
The Modernist design is available in five colourways, providing four practical grey shades with a strong architectural aesthetic, plus an additional stained green concrete shade, which balances and lifts the palette. Its beauty is in its adaptability, as it can be manipulated by laying pattern and scale to create such different looks.
Combined with Amtico’s laying patterns, Modernist is the perfect solution for both commercial and residential spaces, whether flooding an area in a single colourway or working in combination with other products.
Amtico’s Modernist flooring tile was introduced as part of an expansion of the company’s flagship Signature collection. For more information, please visit the website.