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City Rugs 1st collection

City Rugs is a series of rugs designed by the architectual firm Superunion Architects located in Oslo. Based on the aesthetics of urban patterns and their potential association to classic rugs, fragments of well known cities are mirrored and rotated to create a kaleidoscopic symmetry that juxtaposes the modern city and oriental patterns. The famous cities remain recognizable, but at the same time the distortion put their urban elements in new and unexpected relationships. The selected cities in this 1st collection are Paris, Las Vegas and Chicago, all of them cities with a characteristic city plan and urban history. They are produced in the color series green and sand in various sizes. The rugs are produced by Desso in the Netherlands.

Paris If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. Ernest Hemingway

PARIS The Haussmann Plan, was a modernization program of Paris commissioned by Napoléon III and directed by the Seine prefect, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, between 1853 and 1870. Though work continued until the end of the 19th century, well after the Second Empire’s demise in 1870, it is often referred to as the “Second Empire reforms”. Napoléon III decided to modernize Paris after seeing London, a city transformed by the Industrial Revolution, which offered large public parks and a complete sewer system. Inspired by Rambuteau’s ideas, and aware of social issues, he wished to improve the housing conditions of the lower class; in some neighbourhoods, the population density reached numbers of 100,000 people/km2 (250,000 people/sq. mile) in conditions of very poor sanitation. The goal was also for public authority to better control a capital where several regimes had been overthrown since 1789. Some real-estate owners demanded large, straight avenues to help troops manoeuvre. To satisfy his ambitions the new emperor had a considerable amount of power at his disposal, enabling him to ignore any resistance, something his predecessors had lacked. But Napoléon III still had to find a man capable of implementing a project of such magnitude. He eventually found Georges Eugène Haussmann, an effective administrator of proven loyalty, and he nominated him Prefect of the Seine in 1853. The two men formed an efficient team, the emperor supporting the prefect against his adversaries, and Haussmann showing loyalty in all circumstances, while promoting his own ideas such as a project for Boulevard Saint-Germain. Haussmann had the opportunity of working in a legislative and regulatory context that was modified specifically for the renovations. The decree of

26 March 1852 regarding the streets of Paris, passed one year before Haussmann’s appointment, established the main judicial methods: - Expropriation “for purposes of public interest”: the city could acquire buildings placed along the avenues to be constructed, whereas earlier it could only acquire the buildings placed directly on the future construction site. This would allow a considerable part of the Île de la Cité to be demolished. - Building owners were required to clean and refresh the facades every ten years. - The levelling of the streets of Paris, the buildings’ alignments and connections to the sewer were regulated. The authorities intervened at the same time to regulate the dimensions of buildings and even on the aesthetic aspect of their frontages: - The 1859 regulations for urban planning in Paris increased the maximum height of buildings from 17.55 meters (57.5 ft) to 20 meters (65.6 ft) in streets wider than 20 meters. The roofs were required to have at least a 12:12 pitch (45 degree incline). The combination of height and roof pitch requirements gave rise to some of the main characteristics of Second Empire architecture, including the mansard roof and the topfloor garret. - Construction along the new avenues had to comply with a set of rules regarding outside appearance. Neighbouring buildings had to have their floors at the same height, and the façades’ main lines had to be the same. The use of quarry stone was mandatory along these avenues. Paris started to acquire the features of an immense palace.


Paris green

Paris sand

Las Vegas Man, I really like Vegas Elvis Presley

LAS VEGAS The prehistoric landscape of what is now the Las Vegas Valley and most of Southern Nevada was a marsh of abundant water and vegetation. Over the course of hundreds of thousands of years, rivers that were present sank into the ground, and the marsh receded. The valley evolved into a parched, arid landscape that only supported the hardiest of animals and plants. By the early 20th century, water from wells was piped into the town, providing both a reliable source of fresh water and the means for additional growth. The increased availability of water in the area allowed Las Vegas to become a water stop, first for wagon trains and later railroads, on the trail between Los Angeles, California, and points east such as Albuquerque, New Mexico. The State of Nevada reluctantly became the last western state to outlaw gaming. This occurred at midnight, October 1, 1910, when a strict antigambling law became effective in Nevada. It even forbade the western custom of flipping a coin for the price of a drink. Nonetheless, Las Vegas had a diversified economy and a stable and prosperous business community, and therefore continued to grow until 1917. On July 3, 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the appropriation bill for the Boulder Dam (Hoover Dam). Work started on the dam in 1931 and Las Vegas’ population swelled from around 5,000 citizens to 25,000, with most of the newcomers looking for a job building the dam. However, the demographic of the work force consisting of males from across the country with no attachment to the area created a market for large scale entertainment. A combination of local Las Vegas business owners, Mormon financiers, and Mafia crime lords helped develop the casinos and showgirl theaters to entertain the largely male dam construction workers.

Realizing that gambling would be profitable for local business, the Nevada state legislature legalized gambling at the local level in 1931. Las Vegas, with a small but already well-established illegal gambling industry, was poised to begin its rise as the gaming capital of the world. The county issued the first gambling license in 1931 to the Northern Club, and soon other casinos were licensed on Fremont Street like the Las Vegas Club and the Apache Hotel. Fremont Street became the first paved street in Las Vegas and received the city’s first traffic light in 1931. On a percentage basis, Las Vegas and Clark County experienced incredibly high growth rates starting in the 1930s and lasting until the late 2000s recession. During that period, the population of the city more than doubled in most decades. The rate slowed down in the 1970s with the decrease of the white birth rate, but never dropped below 60% (1980– 1990), and even accelerated after 1990 due to immigration. By 2000, Las Vegas was the largest city founded in the 20th century, and by 2006 it was the 28th largest city in the US, with a population of 552,000 in the city and nearly 1.8 million in Clark County. The explosive growth resulted in rapid development of commercial and residential areas throughout the Las Vegas Valley. The strong boom in the resort business led to many new condominium developments all along the Strip and downtown area. Also urban sprawl development of single-family homes continued across the valley, building the areas of Henderson, North Las Vegas, Centennial Hills, and Summerlin. The rapid development and population growth both halted abruptly in the late 2000s recession.


Las Vegas green

Las Vegas sand

Chicago Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world. Frank Lloyd Wright

CHICAGO The history of Chicago, Illinois, has played an important role in the history of the United States. The Chicago area’s recorded history begins with the arrival of French explorers, missionaries and fur traders in the late 17th century. The territory was claimed by the United States in the late 18th century, at which time the area was inhabited by the Potawatomi Indians. The city was founded in the 1830s and grew rapidly from real estate speculation and the realization that it had a commanding position in the emerging inland transportation network, controlling access from the Great Lakes into the Mississippi River basin. Despite a fire in 1871 that destroyed the central business district, the city grew exponentially, becoming the nation’s rail center and a major center of manufacturing, commerce, finance and (after 1890) high culture. The Burnham Plan is a popular name for the 1909 Plan of Chicago, coauthored by Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett. It recommended an integrated series of projects including new and widened streets, parks, new railroad and harbor facilities, and civic buildings. Though only portions of the plan were realized, the document reshaped Chicago’s central area and was an important influence on the new field of city planning. Chicago’s architecture is famous throughout the world, referred to as the Chicago School. The style is also known as Commercial style. In the history of architecture, the Chicago School was a school of architects active in Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. They were among the first to promote the new technologies of steel-frame construction in commercial buildings, and developed a spatial aesthetic which co-evolved with, and then came to influence, parallel developments in European Modernism. A “Second Chicago School” later emerged in the 1940s and 1970s which pioneered new building technologies and structural systems such as the tube-frame structure.


Chicago green

Chicago sand


2,07 m





1,3 m



0,86 m


1,03 m


1,56 m

Las Vegas rug: 4 x 3 m: 3 x 2.25 m:

17 000 NOK inkl. mva 12 000 NOK inkl. mva

Paris rug: 4 x 2,07 m: 3 x 1,56 m: 2 x 1,03 m:

15 000 NOK inkl. mva 9 000 NOK inkl. mva 5 000 NOK inkl. mva

Chicago rug: 3 x 1,3 m: 2 x 0.86 m:

8 000 NOK inkl. mva 5 000 NOK inkl. mva


City rugs sample

The City Rugs are produced in the following way: Material: 80% wool/ 20% nylon Edging: Black blindstitch meter, 1 cm. Technique: Axminster woven

DESSO Desso is a leading world supplier of high quality carpets for commercial use, for the hospitality, maritime and airline sectors and for consumers. We focuses primarily on superior floor design, adding functional benefits and Cradle to CradleŽ. Woven carpets Desso woven Axminster carpets offer the luxuriant, high quality which is ideal for many hospitality environments. Axminster, a traditional woven method developed over 250 years ago is now used almost universally in the finest luxury hotel and resort installations due to its beauty, crisp, clear pattern definition, along with long-term durability and appearance retention properties. The Axminster woven city rugs are produced in 80% wool/ 20% nylon. Manufacturing Desso’s manufacturing process is vertically integrated, which means that all stages of production from yarn preparation, dyeing through finished product are carried out in our own state-of-the-art facilities, thus achieving optimal flexibility and quality control. Wool has a number of functional benefits compared to other materials; easy maintenance, resilience, water absorption, static resistance and color retention. Combined with its natural non-allergenic, non-polluting and mildew resistant character, it is the ultimate user-friendly product. Highest performance wool carpet blends New Zealand wool with hardier industrial grade wools from Britain, Iceland and Australia. Just as 80% wool/ 20% nylon is proven to be an optimal fiber blend for carpet, blended New Zealand and British wools are proven to be an optimal mix of wool carpet fiber blend. Using this mix, we can ensure your carpet is not just Axminster by name, but also in terms of quality and performance.

Marcel Wanders / Amsterdam. Axminster quality produced by Desso.

SUPERUNION ARCHITECTS Superunion Architects is an office focusing on architectural production in a contemporary metropolitan and cultural context. The office was established in 2011 by architects Johanne Borthne and Vilhelm Christensen, and has had commissions in various scales including urban planning, public space, programming, studies, housing, interior and graphic design. Additionally, the office is engaged in exhibitions, competitions and teaching. In 2011 Superunion Architects won the open competition to redesign Asker Square, and in 2012 the office won the competition for Ruten in Sandnes in collaboration with Space Group. The office was in 2012 nominated for Norsk Form’s Prize for Young Architects and the Iakov Chernikhov International Prize.

Foto: Arne B. Langleite

Foto: Heriette Wold

Foto: Heriette Wold

ORDERS / CONTACT Superunion Architects AS Bjerregaardsgate 5 0172 Oslo Johanne Borthne Mobil: 95757996 Mail: Vilhelm Christensen Mobil: 41308386 Mail:


City Rugs 1st Collection