One of the latest projects from Dreamtime Australia Design has seen Viridian glass used for display windows in the transformation of Australia’s oldest butcher into a unique shopping attraction for meat lovers.
Victor Churchill, located in the inner Sydney suburb of Woollahra, is the first ventuer into retail for father and son team, Victor and Anthony Puharich, who own Vic’s Premium Meats wholesalers, however the store itself dates back in history 133 years.
Keen to infuse some of that history into the store’s identity, Dreamtime Australia Design have created a boutique butcher experience, which has successfully blended the look and feel of a traditional European butcher shop, with modern, cutting-edge design elements.
At first glance with its European styled facade and well designed display window, Victor Churchill could be mistaken for a high-end jewellery store. Peer closer into the double glazed, refrigerated vitrine however and an ever-changing array of hanging meat and poultry will be seen, all displayed on custom-made copper and glass shelving, along with items set into an illuminated ice display.
OptiView, a non-reflective glass from Viridian, was used to enhance the display window by minimising the reflection that can occur in retail shop fronts.
Victor Churchill also features rich timber wall paneling, timber beamed ceilings with hand carved copper fretwork, and an Italian Calacatta marble slab floor. Custom copper refrigerated cabinets line a wall displaying premium meats and other specialty products, while a charcuterie counter displays quality cured meats for sale from around the world.
A skylight above this charcuterie provides natural light for staff working at counter. A combination of RenewTM Self Cleaning Glass and ComfortPlusTM Neutral glass from Viridian was specified for the skylight, and a Low E coating was essential for its temperature control properties and to protect the staff working below.
Inside Victor Churchill, many elements that are traditionally positioned behind the scenes take place centre stage, separated from the shop floor only by glass display windows from Viridian. Additionally, with a relatively small interior space, glass display windows provided a strategic way of creating different zones without a heavily partitioned feel.
Staff assist customers from the middle of the shop, while behind a floor-to-ceiling glass wall butchers work away within a refrigerated space on round timber butcher blocks, surrounded by recessed in-floor up lights.
Behind the butchers is an old sandstone wall, that originally was not part of the design. The wall was discovered during demolition and it was decided to keep it and highlight its unique, historical value. While it doesn’t look completely at home with the shop’s elegant European timber décor, it heightens its uniqueness.
The hot and cold kitchens located to the rear of the store feature walls clad in animal hide, from a Texas based leather artist. As Dreamtime Australia Design wanted to ensure that every detail was visible to customers, they specified Viridian SuperClear glass as a display window in front of the sandstone wall and hide panels in the kitchen.
“We wanted every detail of the material to be on display. This was especially important in front of the hide where the beautiful texture would have been lost had the glass not been clear enough for each hair to be defined and visible. It was so successful that you really have to look twice before you see the glass,” says lead designer, Sally Gordon.
The cool room at Victor Churchill has also been transformed into another eye-catching feature. Behind a floor-to-ceiling glass display window, specialty cuts of meat slowly pass by customers, hung from a custom designed cog gear. To the rear sits a metal chain rack with larger carcass meat cuts aging, all backed by a floor-to-ceiling back-lit Himalayan salt brick wall.
Victor Churchill has recently been listed number two in Australian Traveller magazine’s ‘100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences’.
Dreamtime Australia Design Director Michael McCann, says he has been blown away by the success of the project and the the attention it has received. Dreamtime Australia Design was recently announced winner of the Premier Award for Interior Design Excellence and Innovation at the 2010 Interior Design Awards for its unique Victor Churchill design, as well as winning the Retail Design Award and Best Commercial Design (NSW) for its work on Victor Churchill.