The iconic French department store, La Samaritaine, had the world waiting with bated breath until the spectacular restoration of this historical French treasure of the 21st century was finally unveiled.
It took seven years and 750 million euros to restore the splendour of this unique 111-year-old building. Finally, La Samaritaine, the icon of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements, sparkles spectacularly once again!
Essential creative expertise
The French department store’s new luxurious light-filled interiors were redesigned by Yabu Pushelberg, who commissioned Creative Matters to create bespoke carpets and rugs for nineteen different areas across the newly renovated ten-story department store.
Creative Matters Managing Director, Ana Cunningham, collaborated with the team at Yabu Pushelberg along with Director of Design – Europe, Clémence Hardelay, who handled all the French communications including meetings in Paris and Hong Kong.
“We were selected by Yabu Pushelberg for the range of skills and experience we could contribute to such a prestigious project. Primarily they appreciated our ability to interpret their design intent,” said Ana. “They also had a high level of trust in us when it came to colour selection and the way in which we constantly seek ways to elevate our designs. From past projects, they were very aware of the excellent service we provide, not only to them but to their client, the contractor and all the way to the installer.”
Carpeting with Parisian flair
The rugs and carpets play a substantial role in the redesign of La Samaritaine. “The designs play off the fresh Parisian style of the area, offering contrast to the history of this formidable space,” said Ana. “The natural light pouring in from the Atrium showcases the lustre of wool in many of the areas. In addition, the use of wool brings comfort underfoot while beautifully expressing the variety of design styles and eye-catching colour palettes.
“This has been one of the largest and most prestigious projects I have managed in my career. A project like this takes many motivated and talented people to ensure its success,” explains Ana. “Our design team offered up hand painted designs to achieve those effortless brushstrokes in patterns such as the jewellery department rug.”
The level of artisanship in the production teams in Thailand and China also contributed significantly to the success of the project. As did the Creative Matters logistics team moving all the rugs and carpets in a timely manner.
“We had so much fun creating the two circular rugs for men’s contemporary fashion because we were given the freedom to be very bold. Pure colour and a play on pile heights. Modern art on the floor was the aim,” said Ana.
“Working with Yabu Pushelberg has always been a great pleasure of mine but this project – I have to say – was an experience that drew upon all our capabilities so perfectly,” said Ana. “We really wanted to work on La Samaritaine and were thrilled to take this two-year journey with them.”
Design work on the La Samaritaine rugs and carpets commenced early 2018 and required continuous management until they were installed in early 2020. Some were hand tufted at the Creative Matters mill in Thailand, while others were produced using the woven Axminster production method at their mill in China. With some of the carpet manufactured in 100% wool, and others including a small amount of nylon to cope with heavy traffic or shiny nylon to add visual dimension, this was one of the largest projects for Creative Matters to date.
Showcasing the best in design, each of the nineteen areas carry a flair and theme of its own, bringing back the style and splendour synonymous only with Parisian department stores.
For more images and information, visit: https://www.creativemattersinc.com/blog/19-carpets-for-la-samaritaine-in-paris.
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