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Ballantynes Fashion Atrium
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Ballantynes Fashion Atrium


Ballantynes in central Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s most iconic department store destinations. Taking a leading role in the rebuild of retail in central Christchurch, Ballantynes approached The Buchan Group to design the new interior of their first floor Fashion Atrium, to house a quality fashion collective of New Zealand and international brands.

The brief was to provide a layout concept and detailed design while also controlling individual tenancy fit-outs within the open plan space. A fresh retail environment to complement the quality of the Ballantynes brand and capture the vibrancy of this new collective was essential.

The interior design focuses on simplicity with the selected colour palette and detailing allowing the clothing to take centre stage. As well as designing, defining and allocating spaces within the Atrium, The Buchan Group also had creative input in several key retailers’ displays. With an interior concept synonymous with their brand identities and direction, many labels saw the Fashion Atrium as the ‘perfect opportunity’ to collaborate with Ballantynes in a return to inner city Christchurch. The space currently showcases some of New Zealand’s top designers including Kate Sylvester, Andrea Moore and Moochi as well as popular retailers Cue, Veronika Maine and Mi Piaci.

Ballantynes’ requirement for a cohesive collective space with a focus on brand individuality created an opportunity for a new colour scheme to be a key element in the design of the interior of the 670 square metre store.

Ballantynes Fashion Atrium

Resene Quarter Spanish White was selected as a neutral tone for all main walls and doors, complementing existing colour palettes elsewhere and lightening the overall space. Structural steel beams within the double height volume remained exposed but were pared back and painted to emphasise the existing high level windows and abundance of natural light. Resene Destiny was selected as a cooler accent to high level walls and product displays highlighting the diverse and ever-changing product and giving focus to brand signage.

Ballantynes Fashion Atrium

The walls are painted in Resene Zylone Sheen providing a smooth good-looking wall surface, making it an ideal choice for an interior retail environment. Also, its low odour properties made it ideal for application while trade continued in the rest of the department store. Resene Enamacryl was used on trim and joinery and Resene SpaceCote Flat on ceilings.

Ballantynes Fashion Atrium

Highly reflective porcelain tiling throughout the space was designed to suggest a ‘Fashion Runway’ upon which shoppers could move between retail offers, creating a unique spatial feature. The Runway works to enhance the nature of a ‘Fashion Collective’ and provides an ordered space allowing the shopper to visit each brand in turn. The central runway extends up the far wall to integrate the double height atrium space. Being involved in the concept design for several tenants, the design team were able to strengthen the runway and define its edge, with the inclusion of design features such as carefully positioned ceiling hung clothing hangers.

Ballantynes Fashion Atrium

Ballantynes Fashion Atrium

Resene Quarter Spanish White
Resene Quarter Spanish White
Resene Destiny
Resene Destiny

Architectural specifier: The Buchan Group
Building contractor: Leigh’s Construction
Ceiling contractor: Angus Ceilings
Electrical engineer: Eleccom
Fire engineer: Powell Fenwick Consultants Ltd
Client: Ballantynes
Interior designer: Charlotte Cochrane, The Buchan Group
Painting contractor: Lakes Painting and Decorating Ltd
Photographer: Dave Richards
Structural engineer (floor construction): O’Loughlin Taylor Spence
Structural engineer (joinery and exterior entrance feature): Structex Harvard Ltd

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