Circle Partnership, Reading

Circle Partnership is breaking the mould with its purpose-built hospitals catering for private and NHS patients alike. Sleek and stylish inside and out, the reception area has the feel of an up-market hotel. But finding the right combination of form and function for Circle Partnership’s second hospital, in Reading, wasn’t easy.

Robert Botwright, Head of Procurement for Circle Partnership, commented: “One of the big things for Circle Partnership is trying to build a hospital that looks more like a hotel. So what we wanted was that it did not look like a hospital, but had the functionality of one. It’s very difficult to find products for that.

“For Reading we went through all the flooring catalogues and spoke to companies looking for something with functionality and which maintained its look on the floor.”

International vinyl flooring specialists Gerflor provided the solution from its hard-wearing Mipolam range with its new, patented Evercare™ surface treatment for all treatment rooms, clinical areas and corridors.

The homogeneous vinyl offers:

  • unparalleled stain resistance to blood and chemicals, including iodine;
  • the best slip resistance in its field;
  • astonishingly low maintenance;
  • unique environmental credentials.

Mipolam Symbioz™ was tested against other solutions by Circle and its performance – particularly with stains – convinced specifiers there was only one choice.

Robert Botwright commented: “Mipolam Symbioz™ is a good looking product and we carried out some tests with chemicals commonly found in hospitals to make sure it worked, as stain removal can be an issue in hospitals – particularly in operating theatres. The price was right for us and it was important we could have one product right the way through the building.”

He added: “The hospital’s been open since August 2012 and we have no issues with it. Hopefully when we open another hospital we will be looking at the same product.”

The Mipolam range of compacted future-proof flooring is divided into five products: Mipolam Symbioz™; Mipolam Esprit; Mipolam Elegance; Mipolam Cosmo; and Mipolam Troplan. Collectively, there are 101 new colour references from the bright and bold to sober and sophisticated, incorporating directional and non-directional patterns for maximum design flexibility. All suitable for heavy, or normal to heavy use, the flagship Mipolam Symbioz™ has a life-expectancy of more than 20 years.

The use of Evercare™ with anti-bacterial and fungicidal treatments allows blood and chemical stains, including iodine, to be easily and hygienically removed with a mop and water with a dash of mild detergent such as washing up liquid. Evercare™ also provides excellent scratch and scuff resistance and no waxing or polishing is needed during the product’s lifetime, ensuring cost savings on maintenance time and materials. The impact of Evercare™ surface treatment on Mipolam’s slip resistance performance is remarkable: subjected to the industry-standard pendulum test the flooring set new standards in the laboratory, attaining the level of ≥36 in the wet pendulum test.

Having been presented by architects Bryden Wood, of London, with a remarkable brick and glass building acknowledging a residential area on one side and a commercial zone on the other, Ingrid Soelken, Director and Founder of DesignING Ltd, was responsible for Circle Reading’s front of house design and assisting on finishes for back of house. She commented: “The concept was to create an internal garden and relaxed spa atmosphere, so we used wood colours, olive green, warm greys and ivory. Mipolam Symbioz’s™ ‘Grey Stone’ was the best colour for that.”

The Notting Hill-based designer also appreciates the possibilities created by Mipolam’s colour range. Ingrid Soelken added: “It is a good palette and I am sure we can work with Gerflor going forward, as the colours cover a very nice tonal spectrum.”

If you want to find out more about Mipolam Symbioz™ and the rest of the Mipolam range, learn more about Gerflor solutions, ask for a free sample or speak to a specialist, call today on 01926 622 600, email, or visit for the latest innovations.