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POSTED 01/2024

2023 Winner – Large

Advance Plants Qld

The 2022 merger of two multi-million-dollar Australian businesses in Brisbane’s CBD required newly built offices that would reflect its amalgamation. The architect assigned to the project had a clear vision for their client’s interior landscaping design, inviting some of Australia’s top indoor plant hire companies to tender. In June 2022, we beat out all other proposals to win the tender for the five-year ongoing indoor plant hire contract, with installation scheduled for November 2022.

The client’s brief detailed a vibrant, mixed plant look across all custom-made joinery in their high-profile office space accommodating over 2,000 staff. Encompassing 14 floors and ultimately 2,700 plants, its hero floor featured a Yarning Circle dedicated to over 200 native plants. This gathering space aimed to boost office morale and staff well-being in the post-COVID-19 era, fostering communication and collaboration between the employees of the former two businesses.

Our design transformed an otherwise sterile (albeit polished) fit-out into a serene oasis, bringing the essence of Queensland’s tropical and native plants indoors. The choice of plant varieties and their strategic placement fostered a calming and rejuvenating environment, promoting productivity, and creating sound and privacy barriers.

Plants were meticulously selected based on the client’s desire for a mixed look with an emphasis on large-leafed plants such as alocasia. We opted for five common indoor plants and two statement plants per floor, with variations between floors. This thoughtful selection provided diversity while maintaining a cohesive aesthetic.

Within the Yarning Circle, we introduced native indoor plants like agathis robusta and experimented with several species over six months to adapt them to indoor conditions. This pioneering use of native plants showcases our commitment to innovative design principles.

Our design is original, blending circadian lighting and natural materials to create a biophilic environment that sets a benchmark for interior plantscape design in Queensland. Key native plant species included dragon tails, epipremnum pinnatum, native violets, tree ferns, bird’s nest ferns, crocodile ferns, kentia palms, native ginger, silver ferns, elephant ear, and bangalow palms.

The abundance of natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows and bright interior design obviated the need for additional lighting considerations.

Lightweight pots were chosen for their ease of movement, facilitating flexibility in changing configurations for different functions. Our installation technicians worked hard to maintain pristine pot conditions throughout installation to ensure the design’s integrity. A matte concrete finish was chosen to complement the natural, wooden interior accents. To enhance the display, pine bark mulch was chosen for the top dressing, providing a natural and lightweight look throughout the installation for ease of plant changeover.

The team encountered several challenges throughout the installation process. This included working outside of regular hours due to lift access constraints and the release of floors one at a time during the building process. This delayed the installation but allowed us to navigate obstacles effectively.

Furthermore, none of the joinery supplied was waterproofed. As a result, we did not foam or use corflute on the joinery, as to prevent water damage and to monitor water spillage. Instead, we had to increase the number of plants to fill out the joinery space and find innovative ways to get the plants to sit at the correct height as there was no fill. For example, we filled blind wells with foam and sat another blind well with the pot on top; this was so, during the watering process, any water overflowed it would have a second blind well for the water to fall onto. These proactive approaches ensured the longevity of the joinery and the design.

Our comprehensive maintenance schedule involves a dedicated technician three full days a week. This includes the servicing of 14 floors on a fortnightly rotation, focusing on specific floors in each cycle.

Organic pest and disease management control has been prioritised by the pre-treatment of white oil and eco oil before installation. To ensure water management, we designed a wicking system within pots, eliminating the need for sub-irrigation technology. This approach keeps the plants thriving without excess water spillage. Our team also regularly prunes and trims plants, especially hanging pothos, of which there are over 700, to maintain a neat and functional environment for staff in communal areas.

In summary, our installation for this Brisbane City corporate client embodies excellence in design, installation, innovation, and maintenance. It has transformed a bustling workspace into a thriving, biophilic oasis, setting a new standard in interior plantscape design in Queensland.

The enduring quality of our design, combined with our innovative solutions and meticulous maintenance, ensures that this project will remain a benchmark for years to come.

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POSTED 01/2024

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