Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University’s Fusion building is designed to be a physical representation of the institution’s approach to creating a stimulating learning experience. As part of the building’s £22m construction cost, the University selected Formica® laminate for the recreational areas and appointed BOF to specify and supply the furniture.

With Fusion being Bournemouth University’s flagship academic building, careful consideration was given to the project’s aesthetic and green credentials. In regards to the building’s recreational and study areas, designer James Burleigh was commissioned by BOF to build furniture for the atrium. 

Formica Group’s Soft White, Carnaval and Diamond Black were selected for the tables and chairs. James Burleigh comments: “Good design creates an environment that supports educational activities, a factor recognised by the RIBA Better Space for Learning report. Since we wanted the furniture to aid in the creation of a visually pleasing recreational space to study, socialise and dine, the choice of a clean and crisp colour scheme was a natural approach.”

In addition to aesthetic consideration, Burleigh places equal emphasis on the practical qualities of his furniture. With 27 seminar rooms, three lecture theatres, a research space and a new PC laboratory, the 5,600 square metre Fusion building is a high traffic area. The application of Formica laminate presented a durable surface that can be cleaned effortlessly, making maintenance all the more easier while providing cost efficiency benefits.  

Furthermore, since the tables and chairs are also used in the building’s canteen area, the need for hygienic surfacing material was a must. As Formica laminate is inert and does not support microbial growth, its specification helped meet this requirement. 

Bournemouth University’s objective to evolve into a greener campus meant sustainability credentials were also integral to the design of the Fusion building. The incorporation of ground source heat pumps, a green roof and photovoltaic solar panels provide examples of the factors that contributed to the building’s BREEAM excellent rating. 

A component material, Formica laminate is also able to assist toward BREEAM credit for building certification regarding factors such as indoor air quality, life cycle and responsible sourcing of materials.


All photography credit goes to BOF


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