The smallest room in the world’s biggest building projects

UK-based company Thrislington used this year’s Big 5 to showcase its expanding activities across the Middle East after completing a number of high-profile projects in Europe and the USA.

Most recently the company has been involved with installing cubicles in the newly created Freedom Tower – built in the area devastated by the 9-11 attacks.

Between the previously occupied by the twin towers of the World Trade Center is a Museum dedicated to the victims of the attack which has been fully kitted out by the company.

“It was a project which I felt moved to be a part of,” said Jeff Orme who was part of the delegation from the company which took out a stand at Dubai’s World Trade Centre for the event.

“There are poignant memorials to those who lost their lives all around. I was particularly affected by one dedicated to a woman and her unborn child.”

The firm has worked on many projects in the USA and Orme said it was currently being approached each week by three or four companies involved in construction

Among its other recent prestigious projects was the refurbishment of Harvard University with its Oasis Stainless Steel products.

Harvard’s buildings include contributions from distinguished architects of every period in its history.

Architectural styles range from New England Colonial to High Victorian Gothic, from Moorish Revival to contemporary. The facility has over 11,000 students from over 108 countries studying so the technical installation team ensured its members worked around the constraints of the staff and students to ensure no business interruption was encountered.

Museums and fine arts centres in the cities of Boston and New York are also other recent developments for the company along with St Pancras Station in London and the Central Library of Hong Kong.

Thrislington created a stir in the USA with a product usually regarded as mundane – toilet cubicles.

Orme said: “In the USA it is very common for the doors to be far lower than the ceiling – and up from the floor. In some cases the way to see if one is occupied is to see if you can see a pair of feet.

“In Britain I don’t think people would stand for that – they would really dislike the lack of privacy.

“So when we show our designs which stretch from floor to the top even architects are amazed at how private the cubicle becomes.”

Top grade materials such as glass and stainless steel are in the main utilised and the doors effectively close themselves if left to spring freely. Any plumbing or other necessary fittings are concealed from view by the use of panels which can be unlocked.

Orme said: “When it comes to bathroom fittings people will pay a fortune for surfaces, for mirrors and vanity tops or for lighting. But often – especially in the USA – the toilet cubicles looks like it dates from the 1940s. We make sure that with our products that is not the case as our clean and minimalist lines contribute to the overall look of the room.”

Recent projects across the Middle East include sports facilities in Jeddah, Qatar’s airport and business facilities in Doha.

Orme said: “We feel this is an important market for us to develop and Dubai is the perfect hub with its continuing focus on tall buildings and excellent communications, especially by air. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are also very important for us as we develop our business.

“We have a phrase we use when it comes to defining our business: people come to our products because of the way they look – they come back to us because of the way they work.”