The architects began by stripping the space back to its full material potential, removing false ceilings to reveal their original height and timber beams. Plaster was removed from the walls, exposing the brick beneath. The addition of a fire-resistant mortar coating unites the ceiling and structural reinforcement beams with the same rough texture. Finally, the floor, walls and ceiling were painted the same shade of bright white, drawing focus to the floral contents of the interior and enhancing natural light throughout.
Rather than on typical florist tables, blooms at Colvin are presented in an exhibition format, with timber plinths of various heights displaying colourful bouquets in a dynamic and organic fashion. The timber plinths also form a tea table for a waiting area, a cash register and pots for planted trees, generating different functions with the same simple, repeated element. Imagined to mimic a natural topography, tree trunks punctuate the interior interspersed with their artificial analogy, the cast-iron columns. Both serve to emphasize the perception of a high-rise space.
“A new sensory scenario merges with the old built forms, stimulating to feel nature with sight, smell and touch,” explain Roman Izquierdo Bouldstridge. “In this way, abstract nature, understood as the artificial space full of light, highlights the presence of living and concrete nature.”
Sliding glass timber-reamed doors serve to separate the display area where customers choose their bouquet, a semi-open workshop where florists compose bunches of flowers for delivery, and private areas such as the warehouse, the cold store, the office and bathroom. The sliding doors allow the space to be flexible according to degrees of privacy required at given times. Two large mirrors visually duplicate the main street-facing display space, giving customers an experience of seeing themselves amongst a field of flowers within the city.