The vision was to maximise the impact of the trending houseplants and highly visual flower displays while taking the Christchurch market to another level.
Wild Botanic is a new plant, flower and giftware store located in an upmarket boutique retail complex in Ferrymead, Christchurch. The client previously owned a small plant and flower shop in Hamilton and, upon its successful sale, searched far and wide before selecting a unit in the Young Architects designed Casual & Country development which met all her aesthetic and demographic requirements.
The target market for houseplants is primarily female with all ages represented and so the finishes, giftware, plants and baskets have been selected to appeal to a wide range of people. Even the music playlist has been carefully curated to enhance the visit to the shop. The unit was previously used as a dry cleaning outlet and was a very plain and uninspiring space. The vision was to maximise the impact of the trending houseplants and highly visual flower displays while taking the Christchurch market to another level.
This concept was worked up in Revit and then the client was able to 'walk around' the shop using a virtual reality headset which allowed a genuine appreciation of how the colours would interact together as well as assessing unit heights and positioning.
The first decision was to paint the ceiling with Resene Nero so as to increase the visual height of the unit; essential to display the many hanging plants to their best advantage, a colour repeated on the fern wall in Resene Zylone Sheen to provide a stunning backdrop for foliage.
The depth was further increased by the removal of the light grey carpet and a grind back of the concrete slab which was then finished in Resene Concrete Stain Deep Grey to give a hard wearing, easy clean floor finish. This Resene stain emphasises the industrial chic design concept, allowing the natural concrete characteristics to show through and provide a backdrop for the central flower display and floor standing plants, which still allowing the natural variance in the concrete to show through.
Wild Botanic, although a premier florist is primarily an outlet for trending houseplants. Although the overall design concept is based on 'Industrial chic' it was still important to create an environment where the customer could visualise the plants and giftware in their own home. For this reason, white side walls were introduced against which a custom-made white gloss sideboard was placed with laminated ply shelves above. A contemporary wicker chair and side table complete the ensemble. On the opposite wall the Resene Spanish White wall recreates the feeling of a living room and allows a visual display of slowly unfurling flowers to play out unceasingly.
The pièce de résistance is undoubtably the rear wall which has been treated to represent a stained Corten steel sheet. Using a technique of applying two coats of Resene FX Magnetic Magic, selected due to its high iron content, washed with two coats of hydrochloric acid (applied using full PPE and respirators) and then sealed with clear sealer the owner was able to create a uniquely mottled result which has many an admirer and brings the desired warmth to the space. This wall provides the backdrop for social media photographs of bouquets. Use of directional halogen lighting throughout ensures that the product is the star at all times.
The entire shop fit-out, including the mobile and fixed counters, shelving, cabinetry, plumbing, lighting and decoration was completed for an incredibly low project budget while reflecting quality at every turn. This budget was met by careful design (reliant on colour and materiality to tell the story) and through the owners carrying out much of the labour themselves – aided by tradespeople where necessary. The boutique opened on time on and has traded above expectations ever since with a high point providing plants which formed the backdrop for the Prime Minister's opening of the new Redcliffs school.
Architectural specifier: Iain Nicholls
Client: Wild Botanic NZ Ltd
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2020
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