Johnnie Walker created a journey of flavour full-sensory tour at their new attraction Johnnie Walker Princes Street.
Set over 71,500 square feet, Johnnie Walker Princes Street uses world-first technology to reimagine the traditional whisky tour experience. They celebrate Scotland’s remarkable heritage, whisky-makers, and look to the future by engaging new generations from around the world in the magic of Scotch whisky.
We were asked to use our professional planting creativity to add a unique feature to the new journey of flavour room at Johnnie Walker Princes Street making it as attractive as possible to visitors.
We were so excited to be working with Johnnie Walker on their amazing project. Our talented team of experts created a totally bespoke ceiling mounted display made up of 4 quadrants, each quadrant representing the flavours from each ‘corner’ of Scotland to create a sensory experience based on the landscape that each specific whisky originates from. Finding the exact flower and foliage types that originate from each region of Scotland proved to be a challenge, but through much searching and substituting, we managed to match each of the main flower and foliage types.
Part way through the project, the design plan changed to include a ‘sea’ on the Coastal quadrant – as a plant and floral supplier, making a ‘sea’ was a daunting prospect, but through much research into resin pouring, painting and searching for ‘wave material’, we managed to create a beautiful seaside on the Coastal quadrant, proving our creativity by venturing into unknown waters! The sea had to be created on a curved surface, which required a lot of practice with resin pouring to make sure we got this just right.
The first step was to source the foliage for each quadrant. This required a lot of research into the surrounding landscape for each ‘corner’, including some trips out to each region to see first-hand the plant and floral beauties which characterise each area. Once we had identified the main plants and flowers that we knew would immediately transport the viewer into the region, we searched ruthlessly until we had found the highest quality faux reproductions to make up our landscapes.
We approached the project after much careful planning! We had detailed visuals set out for each product, trialed each aspect of the production e.g., the resin pouring, fixing of the foliage, planned and ordered all materials likely to be used, and created a time plan for each quadrant which we stuck to.
Creativity was at the core of all our work on this project. While the initial design was provided by BRC, Benholm provided all the plant and floral information, sourced all the materials that would go into recreating the sensory landscapes, and meticulously researched every aspect of each quadrant to ensure that each landscape would contain every sensory detail that characterises the place, and the whisky. Each quadrant had a colour scheme and many textural elements, not to mention the practical thinking that went into every aspect, namely, the fixing of the foliage onto each panel to ensure it wouldn’t fall off the ceiling once hung upside down! It was so important to make sure every single element of the design was securely fixed onto the panels, so a lot of detail was put into this. It was also important to consider how each panel would be viewed once they were turned upside down. Mostly, our creative input revolved around us finding and creating all the detailed elements that went into recreating the landscape where each specific whisky originates from.
We started off by fixing a layer of preserved Nordik Moss onto the panel to ensure a natural ‘undergrowth’ effect, then we carefully crafted and painted the mountains that are so characteristic of the Clynelish region, out of polystyrene. Once the mountains were glued securely into place, we then stapled the foliage and flowers onto the panel, stem by stem, to create the rough, rugged landscape that this quadrant symbolised.
The other quadrants were created in much the same style. The only quadrant that required extra work was the Caol Ila landscape, wherein we created a ‘sea’. First, we built, painted and secured the rocks onto the panel using polystyrene. Then we painted the panel surface with various shades of blue, poured resin over the top, pasted 3D waves onto the edge, and painted over the surface to create a matte, wave like finish. We then glued the panel and stuck sand (sourced from Islay itself) in several layers to create the beach. Once that was done, we created a ‘hilly’ landscape on the remaining section of the panel through layers of polystyrene and preserved Nordik Moss, then stapled the different flowers on to create the pops of coastal colour.
The actual installation of the panels onto the ceiling was undertaken by BRC themselves, so we had to make sure each quadrant was fully completed and ensured that nothing was going to fall off by doing an ‘upside down’ trial for each panel. Once the quadrants were fixed onto the ceiling, we visited the site to touch up the paint and add in various bits of foliage to create the best visionary experience from underneath this extraordinary, beautiful creation.
Benholm has created a huge amount for this project including a statement ‘four quadrant’ display containing botanicals from across Scotland that go into each bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky. It truly is a journey of flavour and discovery at this fantastic and exciting new venue!
Our talented team created this extremely creative and totally unique upside-down feature which will entice customers into the newly refurbished space where they can enjoy the natural splendour inside as well as out. It has been an exciting journey, incredible design and intricate detail throughout.
We also installed lush greenery to enhance customer enjoyment at the the 1802 Rooftop Bar at Johnnie Walker Princes Street.
This very high-profile project really highlights how creative and talented our team at Benholm are and Johnnie Walker Princes Street truly is an amazing must-see attraction.