Moore Wilson's Sushi House

The brief from our client Graham Moore of Moore Wilson’s was to create a vending station in the concourse of the Wellington cash and carry multi store. The concept was a cottage facade wrapped around two sides of the central lift shaft.

The cottage's architectural styling and design was intended to refer to worker's cottages that once proliferated around the area. We studied old photographs of these little cottages, which informed our design process. The design also needed to be functional as a small food shop where customers could easily help themselves to Sushi from cabinets.

Human Dynamo designed, then pre-fabricated and painted the cottage in our workshop. It was installed over three nights for minimal disruption and an element of surprise for customers.

The cottage was made of fiberglass over a metal framework. Although the cottage looks like wood, it is mainly fibreglass. The roof is amde of corrugated iron.

The cottage was designed in AutoCad. Our CNC router machines used 3D files to mill the moulds for Fiberglassing. We also used AutoCad and Resene colour books to design the colour scheme, along with lots of test pots. The coloured glass in the end windows of the verandah were carefully chosen to work well with the Resene paint colour scheme, and further portray the Japanese x Colonial Heritage story. The colour scheme, designed by Sue Dorrington, went on to win a Resene Total Colour Award.

The Sushi house project followed the successful ‘Chook Wagon’. A Fabrication of a large scale Citroen HY Van selling French styled rotisserie chickens. Designed, built and installed by Human Dynamo Workshop in 2012.

Sue Dorrington on Designing the Award Winning Colour Scheme

My starting point was looking at and photographing the environment the installation was in at Moore Wilsons. It was very Grey. The feel was industrial and prone to a chilly breeze. Colours apart from Grey were the Brown Bronze of a nearby art work, and aqua Moore Wilson's signage.

Three concept colour schemes were first presented to our client:

1. Colours inspired from Sushi food. This design featured Rice Cake weatherboards and a Nori coloured roof. With touches of a wide range of foodie colours.
2. Colours inspired from Colonial cottages, using a palette taken from the colonial era; a little red house. The Resene Heritage colour chart was used for this design.
3. Colours used in the ‘Chook Wagon’ which is placed close to the cottage. (Primarily - Robin’s Egg Blue.) This scheme offered themed continuity and consistency.

Graham Moore liked the Sushi inspired colour scheme. We felt it needed developing further and we started talking about combining the Colonial colours with the sushi colours.

I put together a mood board of Japanese ceramics, interiors and Kimonos. One red Kimono started to lead the design direction. It helped me focus and retain an overall Japanese feel. We needed to edit and refine by adjusting some of the colour choices due to tonal value. I settled for tonal couples such as Monza with Japanese Laurel and Lonestar with Midnight Moss.

The roof colour Marshland was inspired by Nori. Japanese Laurel was also inspired by seaweed but this time a bright shredded variety. Vermont referred to Avocado. The double pearl lustre in the interior was a rice inspired colour that matched the theme. The reds and all these colours were seen in the Kimono design too.

One of the aims of the cottage concept was to intrigue, add a bit of fun and entertain Moore Wilson’s customers. This was also a consideration in the design of the colour scheme. Feedback from our client has been, that the Sushi chefs are very busy and it feels as if the cottage has always been there. I like to think it has added a warm Heart to the store complex.

Sue Dorrington - Human Dynamo Workshop

Sue Dorrington