Публикуется впервые в России!
Представляем любопытную статью которую нам любезно передал господин А.Давыдов. В ней речь идёт об успехах Российского предприятия «Интерграф» в США, где участвовали вместе с ними и мы.
Formula For Success
Winner | Floor of the Year (Master Division); Best Manufacturer-Finished Design | integraf (Moscow, Russia)
Far left, olive wood combines with the wood from a berry yew tree for a winning floor with no duplicate details. "The owners are ecstatic, and all Muscovite VIPs are delighted with the floor," Davydov says. At left, Finnish birch creates the field for an ornamental pattern including American walnut, birch, wenge, quartersawn oak and wood from a plane tree in this Moscow flat. "Uniqueness of the design was of the essence to the customer," Davydov says.
In last year's Floor of the Year awards, relatively unknown Integraf made an impressive debut, winning awards for Best Job-Site Finished Craftsmanship and Design and Best Use of Wood Technology. This year, the Moscow-based company topped that. In fact, it dominated the awards as no company has done before, garnering an unprecedented six trophies for five floors, including the prized Floor of the Year award in the Master Division.
Amazingly, Integraf's Alexei Davydov calls the winning floors "pretty standard for us." Although Integraf is little known in the United States, in Moscow, "Integraf is known as a company that can solve any problem that might occur while in the process of creating a particular floor," Davydov says. "If an architect or a designer is approached by a potential customer with a dilemma, they do not have to think twice about where to go: Integraf is the only company capable of doing this kind of job."
Integraf's capabilities run deep—the company is composed of four divisions that together employ 162 people. The first division handles mass production of unfinished oak parquet flooring, while the second division produces wide planks up to 3 meters long, 120 mm wide and 22 mm thick in oak, amaranth, saligna, Rhodesian woods and other various species. Most of the plank flooring is destined for applications with a "country" style, Davydov says. Meanwhile, Integraf's third division makes medallions, borders and mosaic floors from the company's catalog or from custom designs, using more than 30 wood species. The products from all three divisions are sold through Integraf's distributors in Moscow and the surrounding area. Davydov says that the demand and the price for such floors are higher in the Moscow area than elsewhere in the country.
Winner | Best Use of Wood Technology
Finnish birch, Austrian pear, American walnut, jarrah and wenge combine for this 467square-foot floor that was cut without the use of lasers.
The fourth division is the company's pride: production, design, installation, sanding and finishing of custom, highend floors. The design and installation process for each one of the floors created by this division is exactly the same, Davydov says. First, the architects offer some basic requirements: the floor must be a unique design that has never been used before, the floor must fit the architectural requirements of the building, and it also must be suitable for the newly created interior design concept.
From there, Integraf's exclusive designers' group, led by Valeriy Blinov and including artists Oleg Selin and Roman Rozchdestvenskyi, discuss with the architects the particulars of the building; which rooms are to have wood floors; where they would like borders, medallions and other special designs; and extensive information about the furniture, lamps, wall colors and any other design details that may help the artist. There is no limit to the details that may be included: For one project, the design team had to use the color and wing length of an owner's cherished parakeet in the floor design.
From there, the artists create a one-of-a-kind design, using watercolors to create a rendering of the floor. During the beginning stages, artists are not allowed to use a computer, to know the species that will be used or to use any wood-related terminology. Rather, the artists' discussions with the architects are limited to the colors that will be used. "The artists should not be concerned with how the floors will be made at the factory, because that could affect their vision of the future design," Davydov says, "and the design is priority No. 1."
Honorable Mention | Job-Site Finished Craftsmanship and Design
This modernistic library, from the same flat as the winning floor on page 30, includes Finnish birch separated by "arch" strips of wenge. Eight employees worked for more than four months on the entire project.
The client is then presented with several versions of possible designs. Once one is chosen, Blinov matches wood species to the manual drawing, scans the drawing for use in AutoCAD and turns it into a Photoshop file. From there, Blinov turns to the company's extensive library of wood species' textures and colors. The product of years of work, this library includes photo scans of thousands of different types of wood. Blinov substitutes real wood colors for the watercolors, creating a photo of the future floors, and prints out the result on a color printer so the client has an actual photographic representation of what the floors will look like when installed. Integraf guarantees that the finished floor will be exactly as it looks in the photograph, the architects guarantee that it is exactly what they want, and a time frame is agreed upon. "No suprises are permitted from either side," Davydov says.
With the contract signed, the floors are measured, the drawing is corrected, and the floor goes into production at the factory. It is delivered to the job site in pieces measuring anywhere from 200 mm square to 1,500 mm square. The process for each installation is exactly the same, starting with a clean, dry concrete subfloor. A moisture barrier is glued down, followed by a layer of plywood that is glued and nailed down. After 72 hours, the plywood is sanded, and installers create a drawing on top of the plywood. Next, the parquet is glued and nailed down, and the glue is allowed to dry for one week, after which the floor is sanded. All finish coats are sprayed on: one layer of stain (usually natural), two layers of waterborne sealer, and 5 layers of topcoat waterborne finish are applied. The second sealer layer and the second and fourth topcoat layers are sanded between coats.
Honorable mention | Best Limited-Species Design
his tea room, another room from the flat that includes the winning project on page 31, features a design of American walnut and Finnish birch that results in a mat-like texture on the floor.
After the finish is dry, the floors are covered to protect them from other trades. Once those trades finish their work, the floor is buffed with products designed for use in the auto industry, and the final masterpiece is complete.
In the winning formula, which Davydov calls a "perfection procedure," the only things that vary are the design, the stain color and the size of the project, he says. In fact, Davydov says that some of the company's best floors aren't in the Floor of the Year contest—due to privacy agreements in the contracts, the floors can't be entered.
If the past two years are any indication, it looks like Integraf will continue to succeed in the contest with or without those floors. The winning Integraf formula appears to be a force to contend with in the Floor of the Year contest for years to come.—K.M.W.
Suppliers listed in boldface are advertisers in this issue.
Flooring: Integraf | Finish, Filler: BonaKemi | Nailer: Hilti, Senco | Adhesive: Franklin International | Abrasive: 3M | Sanders:Clarke American Sanders, Galaxy Floor Sanding Machines| Buffer, Edger: Clarke American Sanders | Saws: Leitz, Mafel