Our concrete exhibition garden won three awards at the Ellerslie Flower show 2013, including a silver distinction, judges and supreme award for construction.
The exhibition showcased a personal collection of second generation bonsai. The trees were displayed in a contemporary setting not traditionally associated with the art form. The display is a small representation of our ambition to establish a world-class public bonsai museum as part of the rebuild of the Christchurch CBD, where plants can be showcased, maintained and donated.
The exhibition itself is a journey. The deliberately minimal palette of architectural materials along with non-traditional design and construction techniques have been specifically chosen to demonstrate the organic nature of the bonsai.
Concrete was the perfect structural element for the architectural platforms because it could be shaped to a highly decorative standard while being engineered to last centuries like the bonsai. All of the concrete was poured in situ, with all the visible sides of the aggregate surface exposed.
The path surface was finished with a texture roller to give a manufactured rather than hand-finished look. All the faces were then stripped and finished to match the surface.
The Bonsai Museum was visited by thousands of people as part of the Ellerslie Flower Show and a huge amount of positive feedback was received. The fact that the concrete was poured onsite, in just 14 days and to such a high standard, was regarded by many as an extraordinary construction feat.