Kowtow was established in 2007 with the desire to create an ethical label that would be the example of a fashion-forward, global thinking business.
Eleven years on, the label opened its first flagship store in Wellington.
Designed as an experiential reflection of Kowtow’s brand ethics the store utilised quality hand-crafted, locally sourced, recycled and sustainably harvested materials throughout. Minimalist simplicity and generosity anchor the store’s design and speak to the brand ethos.
The conceptual design was developed collaboratively, drawing on both Scandinavian and traditional Japanese craft. Makers of Architecture worked with the conceptual design to carry out the detailing and specifications, allowing Makers Fabrication to manufacture and fit out the space.
The store layout has been defined by the rhythmic floor to ceiling timber slats, racking and shelving systems, all situated within the existing building’s prominent structural columns and beams throughout. It was important to find a complementary neutral tone that provided a clean and soft minimalist canvas for the space to be defined.
The choice of White Pointer was drawn from the unique colouration and tones found within the handmade tiles made by Gidon Bing. These tiles formed the surface of the generous point of sale counter top and shelving display units.
Resene White Pointer was chosen after a series of colour tests, both as patch tests within the space as well as a multitude of large swatches where they were paired against the materials to be integrated within the space.
The colour was applied to every wall, door, ceiling and column within the space to provide a consistent canvas of tone, using Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen on walls, Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel on trims and columns, and Resene Ceiling Paint on the ceiling.
The Resene White Pointer changes throughout the day with the interaction of natural daylight, sunshine and warm artificial lighting, enhancing the clothing and sales experience within the store.
Working within an existing building had many challenges, especially around measured accuracies and tolerances due to the old concrete building’s original castings and rough surfaces. These original surfaces were celebrated rather than concealed within the design, each area painted while still allowing its rough and grainy surfacing to be embraced through its natural textural effect.
Architectural specifier: Makers of Architecture
Building contractor: Makers Fabrication
Client: Kowtow Clothing Limited
Painting contractor: Harbour City Painting
Photographer: Thomas Seear-Budd
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2018
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