Geranium / Barbican Shop, Barbican London
- Public & Arts
- Marianne Christiansen
The first step of the project was to remove two layers of suspended ceilings, blackout paint on windows, plaster, cheap floor tiles. This reveals a beautiful quarry tiled floor matching the outdoor surface and the characteristic Barbican feature, concrete in various textures and greys. This naturally became the starting point for the sensitive and contextual design that was then created and applied in partnership with Curl la Tourelle Head Director Wayne Head.
The City of London planners were consulted at an early stage and were appreciative of the intentions of reinstating the unit as originally intended by estate architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bonn. The space now stands proud in its intended double height, and overlooks the City of London’s skyline, while dappled sunlight dances on the concrete walls.
A gigantic table at the centre of the room and a wall-mounted discrete Vitsoe shelving unit are the main displays, showcasing products and adding embellishment to the otherwise raw room. The original concrete ceiling ‘cut-outs’ are fitted with custom made drop-down pendants held by an intricate intervention that holds both the light fitting and the plate covering the opening, a detail that delicately complements the simplicity of the space. Inspired by the geraniums that spill over the estate balconies, the shop has been named GERANIUM.
The design of the shop delicately combines retail display techniques and detail design. Marianne’s flair for place-making and product curating have rendered the space an Aladdin’s cave within the estate, with displays constantly growing and evolving as new products populate its space. GERANIUM is a haven for those seeking to find specialist food items and gifts in a beautiful shopping environment, and displays a variety of products from Scandinavian food specialities, vegan chocolate, vintage items, compost and plants.
Since its opening GERANIUM has become a focal point for many residents of the Barbican, and also welcomes visitors to the Barbican centre. The shop has been featured in Monocle magazine, The Financial Times weekend supplement, and on VITSOE as well as the community’s local publication: Barbican Life.