New era looms for iconic Chch store
It’s an iconic Christchurch store and the redevelopment of its site after damage caused by the earthquakes represents a new era for Ballantynes, believes Ballantynes board chair, Bill Luff: “The rebuild of the temporary buildings is more than just reinstating what was lost after the 2011 earthquakes; it actually signals a new chapter in the Ballantynes history book.”
Two Ballantynes buildings known as ‘Stables’ and ‘Andersons’ were damaged beyond repair during the 2011 earthquakes and subsequently demolished. As a result Ballantynes lost 2550 square metres of trading space and four levels of car parking.
These buildings were replaced with temporary buildings – single level structures providing 1040 square metres of retail space – which have been used up until now.
Bill says that the redevelopment will see the completion of a world-class retail structure on Lichfield Street and the upgrading of many parts of the rest of the store.
“We believe that retail design needs to provide more than one reason to shop. “It is no longer just a retail store; it is a complete experience combining fashion, dine and entertainment.
“Ballantynes loyal customer base is going to be in for a real treat,” he says.
The redevelopment has been inspired by the latest in European retail design concepts and includes a new multi-level retail space and a market style deli and café areas positioned under a glass covered atrium to offer a distinct European inspired café setting.
“We’re aiming for the iconic Ballantynes charm with modern touches to wow our customers,” says Ballantyes chief executive Maria O’Halloran.
“After searching the world for the latest ideas, the new building will have a strong European influence; the Europeans are masters of retail design and we know our customers are going to love the concepts we are incorporating.”
The new build will not only reinstate the preearthquake floor area but also provide a unique opportunity to create spaces that are full of light and that flow seamlessly.
Architectural firm Peddle Thorp Aitken Limited was engaged to design the new Ballantynes building.
Firm associate director Marcus Hogan says that Ballantynes were clear that the facade was to reference the current Sir Miles Warren design with the white panels, expressed joints and long strip windows that are synonymous with Ballantynes.
“The new facade is comprised of a series of white boxes of varying sizes and projections that hark back to the Ballantynes facade on Cashel and Colombo Streets.
“Every so often, a white box is replaced with a glass box, which will act as a high-level display case showcasing the Ballantynes product,” says Marcus.
“A new heart has been created in the form of a three-story light filled atrium, at the intersection of the old and the new, where the sounds of the cafe and delicatessen will radiate out from, tying the ground and the first floors together which will act as a reference point as people move through the retail spaces.”
The interior of the building has been designed by The Buchan Group, and Charlotte Cochrane from the design firm says the aim of the interior design was to bring a sense of luxury and sophistication with details such as stone-like porcelain tiles and marble surfaces with fine gold detailing adding elegance to the space, creating reflections and movement as the customer circulates.
“Ballantynes’ customers seek luxury from the world’s finest labels and products, as well as new offerings and experiences.
“With this in mind, it is important for Ballantynes’ customers to be surrounded by an interior design which matches the quality of the product displayed.”
Ballantynes has a history that dates back to 1854, when it was established as a shop selling millinery and haberdashery.
The business expanded and after Mr John Ballantyne bought it in 1872 became a department store. It remains a family owned business with some family still actively involved.
Work on the Ballantynes re-build project commenced in August last year and has a completion date of early 2019.
In the meantime, it is business as usual with the only change being the relocation of the homewares department to 520 Colombo Street until work on the new building is complete.