Armstrong Ceilings help Booths with a brand-new look

Metal and mineral ceiling tiles from Armstrong were specified for a flagship supermarket for a multitude of reasons.

The dark grey Mesh Board metal tiles with Axiom Profile and grid in RAL 9007 feature in plasterboard margins in the lower sales area of the new £4.5million Booths supermarket in Lytham St Anne’s while Ultima+, the world’s first mineral tile range certified to Cradle to Cradle status, was used on the first-floor back-of-house areas.

The 3,210ft2 of Armstrong ceiling systems were specified to meet a tight timescale and to help with acoustics as well as to help the upmarket chain move away from more traditional ceiling designs and comply with new brand standards and guidance.

The 37,000ft2 “Heyhouses” project on a brownfield site in the genteel seaside town of Lytham St Anne’s in Lancashire took 20 months to complete. Built traditionally, the store features oak cladding to the internal steel frame and includes a café, butcher’s and cheese counters.

Armstrong’s 1200mm x 600mm metal Mesh tiles were installed by GWN Contracts and sit as rafts within variously shaped plasterboard margins. These were all laid on the diagonal to lead customers’ eyes through the 23,000ft2 main sales area to the state-of-the-art deli counter at the rear of the store.

Regular Armstrong specifiers Leach Rhodes Walker, who were the architects for the shell construction and internal fit-out, working alongside main contractor Interserve, have partnered with Booths supermarkets to develop café concepts for their stores.

LRW architectural technician Rebecca Kenny said: “The Ultima+ product was a standard product specified by Booths. The main sales area ceiling was in response to the new brand standards/guidance from Booths for a new approach to the ceilings. They wanted to move away from a lay-in ceiling and introduced a more industrial feel that also met the access requirement for the services above.

“As well as the access requirements the Ultima+ ceiling system help with the acoustic issues and the open mesh design also helped with the flexibility of the locations for the feature lighting.”

With regards to any special requirements or challenges, she added: “On the fit out, the time scale was an issue to meet the deadline to handover to Booths for their store fittings/merchandising works, also acoustics within the double-height spaces including the café, the ceiling design and approval to café interior design concept.”

The store opened in September 2015, creating 90 new jobs.

Rebecca added: “The client was very pleased with the overall appearance. It meets the original brief and as the mesh panels were combined with perimeter details, and plasterboard margins to help break up the large area, it created a really striking design feature.

“As Armstrong was already specified on the project it was really just looking through what they had available to meet the brief. It was always preferred to keep all the ceilings with one manufacturer. The ceiling is one of the most successful areas on the project, it was really well received. The fact that it was a proprietary product was particularly appealing.”

Armstrong area sales manager Claire Ombler said: “The finished product looks amazing and everyone is thrilled with the result.  Graham Booth (Mr Booth himself) was said to be more than happy with the ceilings. This particular store is the flagship store for all the Booths stores hence it is great to hear that Graham Booth is very pleased with the look.”