Undulating timber slats surround this London
flower kiosk by Buchanan Partnership

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Microscopic views of flower petals informed the rippled timber facade of this flower kiosk in west London by British firm Buchanan Partnership (+ slideshow).

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

Buchanan Partnership used a combination of digital and handmade fabrication techniques to build the St Helen's Gardens flower stall in Ladbroke Grove.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

Horizontal timber slats were CNC-cut with wavy profiles to create a rippling effect around the facade. These were then layered up and bolted to a galvanised steel structure that sits on the lozenge-shaped concrete base.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

The studio wanted to look beyond conventional floral motifs for the small commission. "We took inspiration from electron scanning microscopic images of flower petals, which reveal tiny three-dimensional ridge patterns across the petal surface," said architect Kyle Buchanan.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

The kiosk doors rotate open during the day, creating space to prepare and wrap the flowers on the Accoya timber countertop.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

Stainless steel letters spelling out "THE KIOSK" sit on the roof of the structure.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

The flowers are displayed on shelves that are placed on the surrounding pavement, and are stored and locked in the kiosk at night.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

This project came about as part of a change of use application for a neighbouring shop, which had previously been a florist. Initially turned down by planners, the project won approval after gaining huge local support.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

In researching the proposal, the practice looked at Thomas Heatherwick's Paperhouse, a set of newspaper kiosks also in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, CZWG's nearby public lavatories at Westbourne Grove as well as other kiosks throughout London, says Buchanan.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

"London has an interesting history of kiosk buildings, including the ornate ironwork public toilet on Foley Street and the police station in Trafalgar Square, which is in the base of a lamp post and was the smallest police station in the world when it was manned," he said.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

The project is one of the first completed by the practice's recently opened London office.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

Photography is by Charles Hosea.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

Here's a project description from Buchanan Partnership:


Flower Kiosk

A new permanent flower kiosk in Ladbroke Grove, built using digital and handcrafted fabrication techniques.

This project, for a permanent flower kiosk in Ladbroke Grove, came about as part of a change of use application for the neighbouring retail unit, which had previously been used as a florist.

London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership

The concept for the rippling CNC-cut timber layers of the facade resulted from an ambition to reinvent the conventional idea of a floral motif.

We took inspiration from electron scanning microscopic images of flower petals, which reveal tiny three-dimensional ridge patterns across the petal surface. These ridges intensify the colour of the flower and act as a graspable surface for bees and other insects.

Sections of London flower kiosk with a wavy timber exterior by Buchanan Partnership
Sections - click for larger image

Using both digital and traditional fabrication techniques, the ridges are referenced in the external form of the kiosk, so that the nano-condition of the petal is translated into a contemporary interpretation of the floral motif in the architecture.

The lozenge shape of the kiosk rotates to be open during the day, creating space to prepare and wrap the flowers. The flowers are displayed on shelves that are placed on the surrounding pavement, and are stored and locked in the kiosk at night.

Contract value: £47,000
Location: St Helen's Gardens, London
Client: Mountgrange Heritage and The Cundall Partnership
Fabrication: William Hardie Design
Planning Consultant: Ian Fergusson of Turley Associates
Structural Engineers: Tall Engineers

  • Paul

    Lovely little building!

  • Marko Runjic

    Marvellous!

  • Hotte

    Looks really good. But what about rain if you work there? Get wet for the style?

  • michael

    Nice! Good job!

  • janine

    Beautifully detailed and crafted. Added to the list of things to see in London.

  • Seb H

    Love it! Just fear it won’t age very well as all the dust, water and crap will sit on the timber ‘shelves’.

  • Simon

    It’s very nice, but how does a humble flower seller afford to hire a team like that to design a kiosk?

  • Pete

    I was involved in a pavilion project last year, very similar construction methods too from the sound of things. Will have to pay it a visit! http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterchinnock/8189436538/in/set-72157629526418205/lightbox/

  • Muriel

    The client is the estate agent. The office is visible on the back – not the humble flower seller.