Creative Matters’ blog is reproduced almost in its entirety here, because I think the project is so spectacular and should be celebrated.
The Canadian company was selected to create the carpets for the Senate of Canada’s temporary new home in Ottawa. They worked with Diamond Schmitt Architects who were responsible for the transformation of a historic 20th-century train station into the interim meeting place for the upper house of parliament while the permanent chamber undergoes a decade-long renovation of its own.
It’s in such a significant location that has been beautifully and painstakingly designed with top artisans, architects and designers from across our country,” said Vice President Ali McMurter who managed the project from 2016 until installation in late 2018. (Vice President Ana Cunningham had first determined many of the colours in 2015.) No stranger to governmental assignments, Creative Matters has created floor coverings for many official residences over the last 20 years from Bogota to Hong Kong, most famously the 29 carpets for the Canadian High Commission in London.
In addition to the chamber carpet, this Ottawa project comprised a red carpet for the gallery, a red carpet with coloured maple leaves for the ante-chamber, foyer and Colonel By Lobby, a rectangular red carpet with a maple leaf border for the dining room (with Designer Kat Pezzano); as well as a grey carpet for the reading room (with Designer Anna Panosyan.)
Within the various designs, 12 different types of Canadian maple leaves are depicted in painstaking detail. Diamond Schmitt architect Dieter Janssen generated the motifs for each leaf type as well as for the background pattern that is used in the Chamber. Diamond Schmitt gave us detailed diagrams showing the size and style of the leaves and background details. We then interpreted them so they could be made in the woven Axminster style of carpet.
The carpets were manufactured using “barber pole yarns” in the red background. “This means two different shades of red are plied together to make a very subtle heathered look which adds depth to the colour and helps to break the surface tension of a solid red,” said Ali. An interesting detail is how the intensity of the leaves increases as you proceed from the public areas towards the chamber. The chamber is the main focus – with the highest leaf intensity and an intricate and beautiful background.
We’re all proud that Creative Matters has contributed to such a high profile project. What’s more, it’s fun to see so many Instagram selfies being taken on our chamber carpet!