Contract Interiors interview.
Contract Interiors is a family-run business that traces back to the year 1970, founded by an ambitious entrepreneur from Barcelona, Spain Salvador Canaleta. Developed as a furniture company called Canaleta Xartó, the establishment then developed to a decorating company named “Canaleta Interiores”, CISA. Salvador gained a high respectable reputation amongst the Middle East, specifically for interior design projects in the Gulf region, namely, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and UAE. These projects were mostly for private residences which included the decoration, the execution and the complete installation of all works. Salvador Canaleta, the designer of the house I was brought up in, contributes to my involvement and appreciation for interiors. Almost 18 years later, I was introduced to Mr Salvador on a trip to Cordoba by my father, where the company is now based.
A project that caught my attention was a renovation of an old Ministry building in Baku, Azerbaijan. Upon my request to speak with Mr Salvador about this project, he was happy to answer the six questions I had set for the interview. The time frame of this renovation from concept to completion was executed amongst 16 months. Throughout the duration, the Ministry was open and able to proceed with their services. As the project was overseas, one of the main contributing factors that led to their success was the professional team set specifically to the project, “all the team working on the project were Spanish” Salvador proudly included. The management and the specialist workers carried out the project seamlessly to out stand the image built in the Ministers imagination for an immaculate Ministry of Finance. An immediate response to grant Contract Interiors, Mr Salvador’s company to renovate another Ministry in Baku was the measurement of success according to Mr Salvador.
The technology/ software program Contract Interiors uses to design their initial and final ideas for their projects are Autocad and Revit- 3D. The design of the space focused on a modern approach and highlights specific elements and materials to create an exceptional space, wood was used as a dominant material in this project and is seen throughout the space. Using different types of woods created a transitional element from one space to another. The idea of merging wooden aspects within stone also contributed to the transition of the space. Considering that the main function of the space is to accommodate VIP’s, wood was Mr. Salvador’s way of incorporating warmth and luxury into the design. “ It is very important to know the use of the area you are going to design, to know the people who are going to use or to stay in, even in a very private area, it is important to know the character of the person. It is important to give big volumes to give magnificence and richness in entrances of public buildings, with heigh ceilings, and small volumes and low ceilings to give privacy in private areas”. Salvador justifies his design.
Although the project was overseas, the contractors did not experience many setbacks due to their high level of professionalism and experience in the working field. The only challenge that encountered the team was the different facilities involved in the design, nevertheless, the scope of the project was seamless and progressed as the Minister and Mr Salvador both anticipated since the beginning of the renovation.
My acquaintance with Mr Salvador in April 2017, and exchange of emails and phone calls for the purpose of interview only developed more feelings of appreciation and devotion for designing. My goal of becoming the designer I had always believed I could be is a step closer now that I’m almost through with completing a BA course in Spatial Design. I own much of this journey to Mr. Salvador Canaleta, which had impacted my life and over the recent years become my role model.