Imperial College, London, is a global top ten university with a world-class reputation in science, engineering, business and medicine. It is the only UK University to focus entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business - internationally renowned for excellence in teaching and research.

Working with BMJ Architects, and contractor, 8 Build, Style was asked to assist in the design of flexibility in the College’s Enterprise Lab, before installing the final solution for a breakout area and workspace.

DORMA Variflex was chosen as the ideal solution for a number of reasons. It is a highly versatile moveable wall and a key feature, which was important for this installation, is that its panels are manufactured separately to the frame.

As this is a basement room, with a tight staircase leading down to it, manual handling was a consideration but because the Variflex system’s frames are separate, each element could be brought down individually.

The detachable panels are also an advantage in public spaces, such as colleges, because if a student or member of staff accidentally damages one, it can be easily swapped without having to replace the entire wall. This can be completed very quickly with the panel frame still hanging in the track, avoiding the need to remove the panel from the track and dismantle it. This has the further advantage of low manual handling risks as at construction phase.

Furthermore, with the classic white laminate finish chosen by the client and 55dB Rw acoustics, this is a really exceptional moveable wall solution perfect for Imperial College, enabling them to change the configuration of the room quickly and with ease.

“Style was delighted to be chosen for this project, and were pleased to assist with the design of the final solution,” said Julian Sargent, Style’s group managing director. “Access to basement rooms can be tight, and it’s important to factor this in when determining the final solution.

“DORMA Variflex is a superb product due to its high level of flexibility, even in the case of complicated room proportions where sloping ceilings or circular spaces have to be accommodated, which is why it was ideal on this occasion.”