Burger Burger was founded with the heart and soul of kiwis in mind, and so it was no surprise when they chose Christchurch City as their next spot to open shop.
With such a strong personality already established, the big challenge was how they could travel to new territories without that nasty ‘chain’ persona. Provincial kiwis don’t like the big jafa’s coming in to run their town, and so the ultimate challenge and creative brief was to design with the community, not for.
How exactly do you design a series of restaurants without it becoming a chain? The concept: It’s the same person, but let’s borrow their clothing from the area.
A list of the key Burger Burger ‘DNA’ features were defined and split into ‘The Body’ and ‘The Clothes’. The body is all of the physical bits that are repeatable; form and composition, furniture, layout, product offering. ‘The Clothes’ are the heart of the space, and the things that we can adjust contextually; culture, artistry, materiality, energy and attitude – and colour.
The Canterbury Plains was the local reference point for colour inspiration, with the warm dusty caramel tussock in the foreground and the scrubbed native green hilltops in the distance. The design team were also well aware that “we eat with our eyes”. It was a challenge to find that delicate sweet spot for the colours.
Colour theory informs that mustards foster a warm, enshrouding and comforting environment, an Abundant Table.’ It reminds one of the morning sun, the gooey deliciousness of the secret Burger sauce, and cues the feeling of a place a couple degrees hotter - important for the colder Canterbury climate.
Colour theory also informs that forest green signals health, nature, provenance, and ultimately – good taste. The darker shades allow the once cavernous industrial building to feel immediately intimate – the enclosure now reading as an enclosing dense environment rather than a stark empty structure.
It was the duty of the walls to establish a perception of being ‘Worn In’; using texture and depth to deliver the comfort, nostalgia and depth of the Burger Burger product. A film-set crew were invited in to assist with the layering of paint post-undercoat, applying a range of darker undertones in-situ, slowly building up depth and lightness with buckets of varying shades.
Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel were used as finishing products for areas that were likely to experience high traffic, and could incur wear + tear from our lovely lively guests. Resene Zylone Sheen was used in low-impact, back of house areas, such as office space, as a general paint finish. Resene SpaceCote Flat was used on ceiling spaces as a simple flat finish, wherever a ‘feature’ wasn’t required.
Rallying the community was a primary aspect of the concept direction – and also one of the major challenges with a successful concept expansion. 25 local up and coming artists were invited to participate in the interior fit-out decoration by commissioning bespoke artworks to become a feature wall cladding. All using paint in an interesting way to create depth of character Timber panels were crafted and released to the selected artists with no brief – it was up to them to find their own expression of artistry within Burger Burger. These panels were then in-set into the joinery feature, and form an expansive mural that wraps throughout the dining interior.
At the close of the year, these panels will be auctioned off to the community – with all proceeds going towards local community initiatives. Another round of 25 artists will be commissioned to create replacement artworks, and so the cycle will continue.
This participatory activation not only helps layer the interior with unexpected character, but meets the brief of donning the ‘locals’ clothing’ in an authentic manner.
Building contractor: Miles Construction
Client: Burger Burger
Interior designer: Wonder Group
Other key contributor – special finisher: Hayley Brown
Painting contractor: W&S Painting Contractors
Photographer: Jackie Meiring
The Resene Total Colour Awards celebrate and encourage creative use of colour. For colour and decorating inspiration, browse through the hundreds of projects submitted...