The new duty free section at Sydney International Airport is inspired by the sandstone rock formations of the world famous Sydney Harbour.
LAVA’s design for the ‘regional products area’ is an abstract representation of Sydney Harbour with headlands, inlets, coves and beaches. Featuring living Australian bush, the cave-like shelves create an experiential showcase for regional Sydney products.
“Millions of tourists pass through this section of the airport every year and we wanted them to remember Sydney by its unique setting on the harbour. We felt (together with our concept partners Will O’Rourke) that the harbour is the most evocative representation of everything that is Sydney,” said Chris Bosse, director of LAVA.
“We didn’t believe that using stereotypes like the opera house and kangaroos would work.”
The retail layout captures the topography of the harbour inlets as seen from the air. Just as the harbour foreshore is different in every spot, so too the curved display stands are each unique, in shape, height and size. Ten stands vary from small low inlets to steep escarpments, from deeply eroded caves to shallow beaches. On top of each display tufts of living Australian plants cascade over, referencing the green flora on top of the cliffs of the harbour.
The 250 linear metres of shelves are made of recyclable and eco friendly plywood, with edges exposed. The rich and varied hues of the variegated layers of sandstone are reflected in the colours of plywood. Strips of green laminate on top of the display units unify the space.
Products include regional Australian-made products and the flagship brand is Bondi surf photographer, aquabumps.
“We were thrilled to be commissioned by Heinemann to create the regional display within the new duty free area at the international terminal.
Heinemann engages local firms to design their airport shopping precincts across the globe – in Denmark (Big), Norway (Snohetta) and Austria (Coop Himmelblau). So we feel very privileged to be part of this family of leading designers bringing excellence to the travel experience.”
“The design is a continuation of LAVA ‘s philosophy of generating interesting spaces that are both efficient and beautiful. We love curves as they take us back to nature,” said Bosse.