Wood Floor

Amie and Samir knew they wanted a wood floor for Molecule. That definition along with a quick discussion about wood species – with walnut as the main choice – was the direction we got for this feature. They knew what we are capable of when working with wood and wood floors in particular, so they gave us total creative freedom.

The geometric pattern described before was originally conceived for the floor. It was designed to create a visual illusion of interweaving fibers or organic tissue, representing the matter present in living beings (Fig.02-A, Fig.02-B, Fig.02-C).

Flooring illustration

Fig.02-A – Flooring illustration

Wood floor illustration close up

Fig.02-B – Wood floor illustration close up

Parquet floor illustration extreme close up

Fig.02-C – Parquet floor illustration extreme close up

The illusion is created by carefully combining four different design elements: the shape of the polygons, the distribution of the polygons around the pentagonal grid, the natural shades of the wood and the wood grain direction.

The manufacturing process starts by hand-picking and categorizing the walnut timber by shades – each with different degrees of darkness (Fig.03-A). The difference in shades is used to create the illusion of three-dimensionality, enhancing the interweaving effect as darker shades appear to be lower than lighter ones (Fig.03-B). The timber is later resawn to the chosen thickness and wood pieces are cut with CNC routers to precise shapes and dimensions. The direction of the grain in the wood is used to create the illusion of continuity (one piece of wood continues on the other side of an intersecting piece) which in turn maximizes the illusion of 3D interweaving (Fig.03-D). These tricks are well known to the age old traditions of marquetry and parquetry.

Walnut timber selection

Fig.03-A – Walnut timber selection

Playing with shades to create 3D effect

Fig.03-B – Playing with shades to create 3D effect

Continuity through arrangement of wood grain

Fig.03-D – Continuity through arrangement of wood grain

The parquetry is assembled by hand on top of a WBP (marine) birch plywood backing layer, and wood is glued to the plywood using a natural soya-based product (zero VOCs) under 20 tons of pressure and 110° C of temperature. This engineering construction offers maximum stability, resistance to moisture and overall durability. The roughly 150 m2 of hardwood flooring is built with nearly 1,000 flooring panels and over 13,000 wood pieces arranged in a specific way to assemble the puzzle (Fig.05-A, Fig.05-B, Fig.05-C).

Assembling the parquetry puzzle

Fig.05-A – Assembling the parquetry puzzle

Wood floor installation

Fig.05-B – Wood floor installation

Artistic flooring installation

Fig.05-C – Artistic flooring installation