A marvel of millimetres at Leeds Civic Hall
With huge proportions and millimetre precision required in design, manufacturing and installation, the bespoke carpets of Leeds Civic Hall, required a total team effort to ensure a stunning end result.
With huge proportions and millimetre precision required in design, manufacturing and installation, the bespoke carpets of city landmark, Leeds Civic Hall, required a total team effort to ensure a stunning end result. Wilton Carpets Commercial worked closely with contractor Kendal Quality Carpets to ensure that the design created by property design specialist, NPS Leeds, was realised with exceptional accuracy. While apparently a relatively simple carpet design, replicating the original stone floor discovered in photographs of the original state of the building, the reality required exact calculations and meticulous manufacturing to accommodate the building’s large proportions and architectural features.
“Following studies of the floor, I envisaged the design for Wilton Carpets Commercial to weave into carpet,” explains Gemma Evers, interior designer, NPS Leeds. “Together we also developed colours and the speckled pattern inspired by the original floor to give the carpet a stone-like quality.”
Working with the interior architecture of the building, including the large columns of the ground floor, along with the grand staircase and its landing with mayoral chambers at opposing ends, required several site visits before the design could be realised in carpet. With single uninterrupted runs of up to 30 metres and with widths of seven-metres or more, any planning or production error would have huge consequences.
David Greenall, Kendal Quality Carpets, contractor responsible for planning and installation, explains: “The sheer scale and layout of Leeds Civic Hall meant we had to be exceptionally precise with every aspect of planning, as well as the eventual installation, and so we made several site visits to ensure we had every single measurement. With numerous measurements down to millimetres, the eventual plan seemed more like engineering drawings than those generally produced for a carpet installation.”
Wilton Carpets Commercial realised the design in a durable 11-row bespoke woven axminster quality using its expertise to produce the carpets within the very tight tolerances required by the layout of the building. Each carpet had to precisely fit with the next, creating a seamless look that keeps long linear runs straight and true while meeting key architectural features with repeated rigour.
The 750 square metres of bespoke carpet have been installed throughout the ground floor, stairway and main landing of Leeds Civic Hall in a combination of slate grey tones, with striking Basalt grey borders delineating spaces and helping to break up large areas. The main landing, bookended by the mayoral chambers, uses a tile pattern in contrasting greys. All carpets were manufactured from 80% wool 20% nylon at Wilton’s Wiltshire facility.