|Aga Khan Museum photo on Facebook|
A magnificent addition to the Toronto cultural scene opened in September and we are very proud to be part of it. Not only is the Aga Khan Museum the first museum in North America devoted to Islamic art, but it is also the first time Creative Matters has designed a floorcovering for a museum.
Situated at the north end of the city, the museum is part of a $300 million complex that has been eight years in the making. More than 1,000 artifacts from the 8th to 19th centuries are on display. We created the carpet for the Bellerive Room which features a ceramics collection.
Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki chose to use the geometric patterns often seen in mosques throughout the museum. They can be seen in the inlaid floor of the courtyard, etched glass, wood screens and … in the tiled carpet. Creative Matters was invited to join the creative team in January 2014. Interior designers Studio Gardère from Paris had already decided upon a red tiled carpet for the Bellerive room and asked CMI designer Ana Cunningham to develop the idea into a floorcovering.
The final choice was 36” x 36” tiles in a burnt orange and gold. The tile motif was enhanced by a square within a square. The inner square contains an ornate scroll pattern and the outer square contains what we believe to be the Iris, a symbol of religious freedom, often seen in old Persian rugs.
As thousands of people will browse the artifacts every week, the tiles were printed in a hardwearing nylon and manufactured in the U.S. The tiles were made with pad attached and this was adhered to the floor when the carpet was laid in August.
When Ana had the opportunity to inspect her work and admire the stunning architecture at a preview, she said, "I loved how the etched glass and wood screens added another dimension to the space with the reflections and shadows they created. Truly a special project to be a part of.”