Six For the Price of One
Eva Hagberg -- Interior Design, 3/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Standing in the circular reception area at the Mohawk Group in New York, Shashi Caan begins her tour—the founder of the multidisciplinary Shashi Caan Collective is describing her Big Idea for the showroom, which incorporates six of the company's carpet brands in one fluid space. "Everything comes from Mohawk," she says, gesturing toward the gold, orange, and magenta carpet that sweeps across the floor and up the wall behind a built-in bench for waiting customers. Screening the reception desk, a latticework panel evokes traditional rug patterns and what Caan calls the "hide-and-seek nature" of the interior.
Located on the 18th floor of a Masonic building, the 16,000-square-foot showroom is divided into six main zones, one for each brand. To separate them, Caan used rolling panels of steel-framed MDF. One side, painted white, features slots to hold samples; the other shows off a photomural of the Manhattan cityscape at different times of day. In real time, morning and afternoon send sunshine through the showroom's wall of south-facing windows—visible, Caan stresses, from every corner.
Opposite the window wall, hoteling workstations occupy a row of booths lined in the same inviting gold, orange, and magenta carpet as reception—imploding the literal and symbolic wall that typically divides showroom from office space. "If individuals are delighted with their environment," Caan says, "you know everything's going to go well."