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The 7 Most Unique and Beautiful Floors in the World & Their History

From stunning mosaic patterns to sleek and shiny surfaces, beautiful floors are the envy of interior designers, and aesthetic-seeking instagramers, around the world.

While you may not realise it, one of the first thing you notice when you walk into a room is the floor. Floors cover the entire surface area of any space, setting the tone for the foundation of each environment. Whether you’re trying to create a sense of refined elegance or urban edginess, choosing the right floor makes all the difference for setting the scene.

Across the globe, masons, carpenters, and manufacturers have worked to perfect the craft of flooring. This being said, there are a handful of floors that simply stand out amongst the rest—attracting visitors worldwide to step onto their striking surfaces.

Below, we have compiled a list of the 7 most unique and beautiful floors in the world that will have you looking down in awe.

  1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

 Beautiful floors, The 7 Most Unique and Beautiful Floors in the World & Their History, Ecoflor

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the most iconic architectural wonders in Abu Dhabi, is known for its mesmerising courtyard. Built between 1996 and 2007, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque aimed to “unite the world” in its design by using artisan elements from India, Italy, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, the UAE, and many other countries. Most notably, perhaps, is the use of beautiful Carrara marble in the expansive courtyard, which features a sprawling floral mosaic designed by Englishman Kevin Dean. Dean, who studied at the Royal College of Art, wanted to incorporate flowers from the different hemispheres to symbolise Islam as an international religion.

Dean began the project by creating painted sketches of the flowers as they would appear in the courtyard. Once the design was finalised, Dean travelled between Abu Dhabi and Carrara, Italy to see his ideas solidify into marble. Working with the marble workshop in Italy, Dean helped choose the colours that would best fit his design out of 30 naturally occurring colours found in marble. Once the designed were translated onto marble, they were cut and mounted onto 4 metre square slabs and shipped to Abu Dhabi.

This project required an enormous workforce to assemble in order to protect the integrity of the craftsmanship. Dean recalls visiting the site during the assembly of the courtyard, and witnessing over 400 employees working on the finishing touches.

Today, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the main worship halls in Abu Dhabi, drawing in a high volume of foot traffic to admire the beautiful flooring.

  1. Heydar Aliyev Centre, Baku

 Beautiful floors, The 7 Most Unique and Beautiful Floors in the World & Their History, Ecoflor

Where does the floor end, you ask? It can be hard to tell in the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku. This cutting-edge-without-an-edge architectural masterpiece was designed by British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. Hadid aimed to push the boundaries of architectural geometry to create a truly unique building that could represent modern Baku through a fluid topography. The building itself is enveloped by the single surface. The fluid white concrete of this building adds to its modern design.

Due to its unique style, the Heydar Aliyev Centre is now an internationally recognised landmark in Baku and has earned many recognitions for its progressive design. In fact, in 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first women awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize and in 2015 she became the only women to hold a Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

  1. The Ledge, Chicago

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Did someone say vertigo? Whether you like this flooring depends entirely on whether or not you’re afraid of heights. The Ledge, located in Willis Tower in Chicago, gives visitors a truly unique view of the city, while testing the courage of countless tourists (and adrenaline junkies) each year.

The Ledge, also referred to as the Skydeck, first opened in 1974, in what was formerly known as the Sears building. Located on the 103rd floor, this glass observatory is part of the 8th largest building in the world, offering a spectacular view of Chicago below.

Bound on all sides by three layers of ½ inch glass, the ledge is an enclosed glass box which is able to retract into the building for easy maintenance. This construction was built by Halcrow Yolles, a UK-based engineering company which holds an expertise in structural glass design. In fact, the company was able to design all of the glass and steel detailed components while eliminating all exterior steel supports in order to create a nearly invisible structure. The glass, which consists of panels weighing about 15000 lbs, is fully tempered for maximum durability—like your iPhone screen protector except much, much better.

All in all, it’s safe to say that this secure, yet daring, flooring can cause you to truly appreciate the ground you stand on.

  1. 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York

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1Photo Credit: BBC.com

Perhaps nothing is more iconic of the Art Deco style than the polished lobby flooring of the RCA building in New York City. This Art Deco skyscraper was built in the early 1930’s and still stands today as an architectural landmark. Designed by Raymond Hood, the flooring alone in this building can transport you to another era. The beautiful golden and black polished flooring of the 30 Rockefeller Plaza lobby, paired with the low-lit corridors, help to establish an instant atmosphere of if elite elegance. Inspired by this sophisticated style, countless other buildings have replicated the technique of polished concrete.

  1. La Galleria Grande, Turin

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Image credit: seeing-torino.blogspot.co.uk

If you thought chequerboard floors were invented by 70’s diners—you’d better think again. These black and white beauties were first made cool way back in the 18th century, when beautiful palaces, like the Palazzo Venaria in Turin, sported them in their Galleria Grande.

The original chequerboard flooring of the Galleria Grande was designed by architect Filippo Juvarra and create a stunning optical illusion that seems to elongate the hall. However, in the early 18th century, much of the flooring was removed and relocated to the Galleria Beaumont. Today, the chequerboard flooring that you see at the Galleria Grande, is a replica that dates to 1995. Nevertheless, the flooring is still a marvel to see. Visitors wishing to see the original flooring can still find it today at the Galleria Beaumont.

  1. Bahia Palace, Morocco

Beautiful floors, The 7 Most Unique and Beautiful Floors in the World & Their History, Ecoflor

Bahia, meaning “brilliance”, is truly a brilliant example of Moroccan style. This beautiful landmark was built by a father and his son, Si Moussa and Ba Amed, who were Moroccan sultans. Located in Marrakesh, Morocco, this 19th-century building features an iconic courtyard made of countless tiny mosaic pieces. These colourful tiles fit together like a puzzle to create a beautiful optical effect that will keep your eyes pointed down as you try to count each piece.

  1. Mayakovskaya Metro Station, Moscow

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If you’re looking to catch a train at Mayakovskaya Metro Station, make sure you unglue your eyes from the floor long enough not to miss it. This Soviet relic was designed in the 1930’s by a man named Alexey Dushkin. The station was a central hub for the Soviet Union during World War II, even serving as an assembly hall for spectators during Stalin’s speeches. Despite the building’s tremulous history, it is certainly a spectacle to admire, featuring four different shades of marble and granite.

Create Your Own Beautiful and Unique Flooring

As you can see from the 7 most unique, beautiful floors in the world above, the floor you stand on can set the scene and tell a story. Each of these floors played an integral part in realising its architectural project.

If you’re looking to realise a unique flooring project, that truly allows your building to stand out from the rest, our experts at Ecoflor have the craftsmanship, expertise, and passion to help you turn your project into a reality. We take pride in creating floors that are unique in their quality and design.

We specialise in commercial and industrial flooring, offering heavy duty solutions that transform environments with practicality and style. From decorative flooring options like quartz and vinyl, to polished concrete, and heavy-duty flooring, we can match you with the right materials for your industry. In fact, some of the industries that we’ve had the pleasure to partner with already, include the aerospace industry, military and defence, retail, offices, carparks, the automotive industry and more.

Whether you’re looking to complete a simple project or something out of the box, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us today at one of our main offices, or request a quote online!