Earlier this month, Deloitte Canada unveiled its stunning national office tower in the heart of Toronto's financial district. Design and technology are used throughout to provide a more collaborative and productive workplace. Within that design strategy, we created seven rug designs to showcase and support the architectural elements of the space. Here we detail the interesting role played by the six largest pieces.
Carol Sebert, President and project lead at Creative Matters, explained that in flexible environments, rugs have many functions. "First, they focus the space visually and create some pizzazz. Then, because these areas are very large with multiple seating groupings, they create a cozy comfortable feeling. And additionally - because the rugs don't have rigid patterns - they encourage people to rearrange the chairs for group conversations and collaboration."
The splash-like design was created for what is primarily intended as an entertaining space, so it needed to have a dramatic impact on people entering the area. Working directly with Melissa Beresford and Sally Pickering at Deloitte, Carol invited them to browse the 100+ fledgling designs in our 2016 inspired look book. They were indeed inspired by one of the designs in the watercolour section, which we then reworked and refined, ending up with a grand total of 16 colours and 39 blends.
"Because the rug is so large we decided it could handle a lot of colour and this huge oversized splash pattern. This rug is intended to surprise the visitor. And like all the rugs for Deloitte, the design is totally unpredictable, without symmetry in either pattern or colour," said Carol.
For a meeting space situated in a spacious elevator lobby, the Deloitte team again turned to a design in the Creative Matters look book. This time however, the base design proved much more of a starting point, with the structure evolving and the colour palette changing. "The warm grey tones are a perfect match to the stone floor while purple, teal, burgundy and rust add surprising notes. I love how the design features crumbled pieces of texture that crawl across the honeycomb pattern," said Carol.
For the first of two rugs on the Deloitte University floor, the Glacier design in our Arctic Collection provided some initial inspiration, but as the design was reworked, it became more of a topographical map - like we are pulling away from Earth and gaining a different perspective.
The second rug for the Deloitte University floor needed to relate not only to the first rug, but also to a Douglas Coupland painting on an adjacent wall. Creative Matters Senior Designer Clémence Hardelay worked with Carol on all the rug designs for Deloitte - for this one she added fractal elements and used a combination of cut and loop pile to add dimension. Carol said that she particularly liked the richness of the colours and the layering of the pattern, "it feels like layers of glass."
Because of the need for durability in high-traffic environments, all the Deloitte rugs were handtufted in 100% wool at one of our long-trusted mills in Thailand. Moreover, some of the rugs were so large, it would have been impossible to use the handknotted method.
For a particularly long reception space, it was tricky to find a design that could sweep across the length and narrowness. As chairs are constantly rearranged into informal groupings, the rug also had to allow for furniture freedom. "The coffee tables are large pieces of tree trunk that look fabulous on the blue watery rug," said Carol.
When the Deloitte interiors team was browsing our collection rugs, they decided that Shale from the XXV Collection was a visually strong solution for a small informal meeting area. We reconfigured the original design for size and changed the colours to match surrounding finishes. The final rug not only anchors the collaboration corner within the larger space but establishes a comfortable - even cosy - setting for serious work.
"The Deloitte project is very representative of the Creative Matters experience - so many diverse areas, a variety of sophisticated colour palettes, and rugs that interact from one floor to the next. While a challenging project, we were given an ample amount of creative freedom to explore design possibilities," said Carol.