Rina Lovko Studio designs “untouched” concrete space for flower store in Kiev

Rina Lovko Studio designs “untouched” concrete space for flower store in Kiev

Dicentra, a wholesale flowers supplier, approached Rina Lovko Studio to design a retail space in a former workshop, a Soviet-era building similar to a hangar on the left bank of Kiev, Ukraine.

“Dicentra has a huge warehouse and there it was necessary to create a retail space. The main point in the terms of reference was the construction of two refrigerators in one room. The first is a fridge showcase with cut flowers for retail. The second is closed for cut and potted plants wholesale. Also in the hall there should have been a reception for managers, a workplace for florists, utility rooms with a kitchen, and a shared toilet for guests and staff. The budget is limited, the area is huge, the deadlines are tight, and customer’s trust is complete. The conditions are challenging, so we had to look for non-standard solutions. The room is divided simply: two walls, and in the columns are in the middle. The floors are asphalt. We immediately decided that we would make them technical – fill it with concrete. There was whitewashing on the top of the walls, and green oil paint on the bottom. The paint was removed along with the plaster, and then the artist covered them with a primer and a glaze layer. The walls came out textured, which put together a general picture. The idea was to make everything look untouched: as if we had come, put down furniture and the store started working. We made refrigerators smaller and lower than the room itself. They were made of special thermal materials, and in one of them the aluminium windows were put for display cases. They were faced with standard plywood sheets. In general, the space looks like a large hangar, in which two smaller cubes were inserted. Between the cooler cubes there is a race for large unloading trolleys, on the contrary there is a wide reception for four people. Inside, refrigerators are painted in graphite color. The decision is due to the product: flowers on a black background look bright and contrast, which is good for sale. We supported this with lighting and specially selected such that the flowers looked even brighter. Light and arrangement of furniture emphasized the length of the hangar. All furniture is made of stainless steel and is lined with gray terrazzo plates made to order. This is a unique solution for Ukraine. The corners of the furniture were cut at 45 degrees. Our studio previously developed a table for florists for the Dicentra store in Lviv. Then they put the same, but from other materials. It is double-sided, with drawers and waste bins for stainless steel waste on both sides. The table is heavy, but on wheels, so it can be moved around. We also developed mobile shelves for transporting flowers. Flowers are always different, so the shelves were made with special milling, which allows you to quickly change the height of the mount. The main entrance is made of red perforated mesh, and above it we placed a neon sign. Against the background of the industrial zone, this is very noticeable, which, again, is advantageous in terms of retail sales,” explains Rina Lovko

Untoched look
Unloading trolleys
Counter & reception

Table for florists
Detail of tabletop
Shelving

Office behind mirror
Toilet

Exterior