High flying and feature flooring: Chow:Hill Interior Designer, Amy Land, diaries her whirlwind trip to Interface’s Sydney Design Studio.
Earlier this year, I was invited by Inzide to visit the Interface Design Studio and carpet mill in Sydney, along with 12 other designers from Auckland and the Waikato. The trip was a whirlwind visit, with just enough time to admire some renowned architecture and take in the sights and lights of Vivid.
Our base for the three-day trip was the Old Clare Hotel in Chippendale, a suburb situated on the southern edge of Sydney’s CBD. Once the home of breweries and the rag trade, the suburb is now known as one of the key creative art districts with a handful of art galleries, converted factories and warehouses, along with a large mixed-use development and a number of universities.
The boutique Old Clare Hotel is a reincarnation of the original 1940s County Clare Hotel, which occupied the site alongside a brewery. In 2015, the new owner asked TZG Architects to rejuvenate the hotel, while remaining true to its heritage. A four-storey glass atrium was designed to link the two independent buildings. The overall feel is an eclectic mix of features and eras, proud of its hoppy history and grungy background.
Bringing Vivid-inspired designs to life
Day two began with breakfast at Chalmers Street Interface showroom and a tour of the heritage listed building, followed by a customisation presentation. Putting that information into practice, we customised Interface’s latest range, Connected Ethos. In collaboration with designers from Warren and Mahoney and Archimedia we decided on a precedent and selected yarns to meet the brief.
We went for a playful and bright combination of purple and magenta to represent the colours of Vivid and watched the Interface design team bring it to life in digital form. ~ Amy Land, Chow:Hill Interior Designer
It was fascinating to see carpet being manufactured at the Interface Mill in Minto, from setting up the yarn, to the tufting machine, pre-coating to the backing line and packing. A very efficient production where Interface has worked hard to reduce carbon emissions when manufacturing, reducing waste sent to landfills by 85% and working to create a circular economy to cut out reliance on raw material extraction and material production.
76% of energy used at Interface’s manufacturing sites is now renewable.
After a decadent dinner at Ploos, Campbells Cove, a handful of us ventured out along the waterfront to take in the sights of Vivid. Seeingthe iconic landmarks of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House lit up was as memorable as the chilly single-digit temperature that night.
An architectural tour of Chippendale
Our final day included a tour of the architecture around Chippendale, viewing stunning work by John Wardle, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Durbach Block Jaggers to name a few, an inspiring way to finish the trip, with a final lunch at beautiful Darling Harbour. I stayed on until Sunday with a friend and visited the fabulous Art Gallery of New South Wales, a major new build with art garden and landscaping. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning SANAA in collaboration with Architectus, it has doubled the space for exhibits. The highlight was the eerie subterranean gallery built in a disused WWII-era oil tank.
The trip was a refreshing break in the regular programme of routine and winter - I got more sun in three days in Australia than I had in the previous six months in New Zealand!
Thanks to Interface, and Michelle Smith from Inzide, for the opportunity and to the other designers for being great company.
Amy Land was hosted by Inzide, providers of sustainable flooring solutions.
June 21, 2023