"Togetherness aids wellbeing" say winners of Marmoleum Design Challenge

A pastel-toned break space with configurable partitions designed to foster social engagement and wellbeing has been named the winner of the Dezeen and Forbo Flooring’s Marmoleum Design Challenge.

Finnish design studio Tuominen Patel has claimed the top prize with their adaptable break space called Breathe.

Along with a cash prize of £5,000, the designers will see their design brought to life in collaboration with Forbo Flooring. The completed project will be unveiled at a launch event in the Netherlands and featured on Dezeen in the coming weeks.

Tuominen Patel's Breathe concept
The concept focuses on fostering connection and social engagement

The Marmoleum Design Challenge tasked architects and designers with creating an interior space that promotes wellbeing using Forbo Flooring’s Marmoleum material.

Concepts were designed for installation in interior environments such as hospitals, schools or offices – anywhere you can play, learn, work or heal.

Breathe is a multipurpose, configurable break space designed to encourage connection and social engagement, hosting activities from small gatherings to yoga sessions.

The design aims to encourage users to slow down and pause, particularly in busy office or educational environments during working hours.

“Togetherness aids wellbeing,” the designers said. “Throughout history, people have thrived by connecting with others. Whether we were hunting for food, gathering berries, or travelling – we did it together in social groups.”

Plan view of Tuominen Patel's Breathe concept
Breathe is a configurable break space for busy work environments

The concept features geometric forms with three main components: circular Marmoleum flooring, furniture pieces using Furniture Linoleum and partitions.

Instead of segmenting spaces, the concept uses the radial orientation of a clock to merge segments together.

​​The circular configuration was informed by the “democratic nature of the circle”, in that everyone within the circle would be in an equal position when facing others.

“The concept revolves around circular forms,” the designers said. “We see the circle everywhere – from grains of soil to the stars. A circle means completeness and unity, it’s the centre of everything.”

Tuominen Patel's Breathe concept
Breathe features geometric forms and a radial configuration

The space features a range of furniture made from Furniture Linoleum-surfaced cardboard materials, including stackable lounge chairs and benches that double as shelving, with optional seat cushions.

The chairs and benches echo the curved form of the flooring, while a central low-lying table creates a focal point for engagement, evoking the sense of togetherness and social atmosphere of sitting around a campfire.

“We were inspired by the feeling we have during those long summer nights in Finland, when the constraints of time are forgotten.”

Tuominen Patel's Breathe concept
The space would include seating made from Furniture Linoleum-surfaced cardboard

Curved partitions made from Pinboard Linoleum and Furniture Linoleum would be equipped with castors for easy movement and rearrangement to accommodate privacy and changing uses.

The modular design was designed to support a range of activities, such as playing, learning, working and socialising. The moveable partitions allow for flexibility and scalability for breakout areas of varying sizes.

Various colour combinations of Marmoleum flooring, Pinboard Linoleum and Furniture Linoleum to complement each other to create a soothing ambience.

Tuominen Patel's Breathe concept
The partitions are equipped with castors for easy rearrangement privacy

Tuominen Patel is a design studio based in Helsinki founded by Terhi Tuominen and Jitan Patel in 2005 working across furniture, interiors and objects.

The studio’s work is characterised by a keen curiosity about human behaviour, particularly how people interact with objects and move within spaces, influencing feelings and behaviour.

Tuominen Patel's Breathe concept
Tuominen Patel beat entries from over 61 countries around the world

Entries were judged by an expert panel of judges, including interior designer Ilse Crawford, HOK senior interior designer Christine Vandover and Studiopepe co-founder Chiara Di Pinto.

They were joined by Dezeen editorial director Max Fraser and Forbo Flooring senior linoleum designer Tamar Gaylord.

“We considered a variety of entries, from those providing solitary cocoons aimed at calming the senses, to those that are adaptable, multi-use and playful,” commented Fraser.

“Breathe stood out for embracing the spirit of community,” he added. “We were attracted to this concept because it focused on the social element of wellbeing and the importance of togetherness, rather than creating a single-occupancy space to retreat into isolation.”

Kanso by Jonathan Tordjman and Gabriela Neyroud

Read:

Six calming wellness spaces shortlisted in Dezeen and Forbo Flooring’s Marmoleum Design Challenge

Tuominen Patel beat entries from over 61 different countries around the world, with Breathe emerging as the winner of the Marmoleum Design Challenge.

The entries were initially whittled down to a shortlist of six designs, from which the jury selected the winner. Each design was assessed on its innovation, use of Marmoleum, feasibility and consideration for wellbeing.

The realised project will be revealed on Dezeen in the coming weeks.

Partnership content

The Marmoleum Design Challenge is a partnership between Dezeen and Forbo Flooring. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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