At the end of 2019 I worked on one of my all time favorite floral projects, which I am so excited to share with you! For this project I partnered with Pacific Place in downtown Seattle. Together we collaborated on a Holiday-themed botanical art installation that was amazing, epic, and truly one for the books!
If you aren’t familiar, Pacific Place is a shopping center located in the heart of Downtown Seattle. They are nearing the end of some major renovations by March 2020. This massive redevelopment they embarked on includes opening up areas to let in more light and giving the building an overall fresh, modern, and bright aesthetic. A goal of this project was to create a welcoming environment where people can gather and connect.
With the redevelopment at Pacific Place, several temporary barricade walls divide the construction areas from the parts that are still accessible to shoppers. To minimize the look of construction and to evoke a joyful, festive feeling, so as to give shoppers the best Holiday shopping experience possible, Pacific Place wanted to decorate these walls. This is where Holly Yee Floral Architecture was brought in.
Concept Design and Drafting
The original Holiday design I proposed for Pacific Place was a combination of circular living wreaths and a central installation that journeyed the life of a pine tree from a cone to a full grown tree. While we ultimately decided to hold off on the evolution of a pine tree installation, we collaborated with the Marketing team at Pacific Place and expanded the wreath design to also include a square living wreath. Here are the sketches for both design concepts:
Building and Construction
Since both of these designs had originated from imagination, the next step was figuring out how to actually bring to life and make them real. A living wreath is one thing, but building a 6-foot living wreath is a whole other ball game. With the help of my engineer husband who came up with the brilliant wooden shelf concept, I sketched out the framework of what would be the underlying mechanics:
I then got busy with sourcing all of the necessary supplies. Home Depot became my second home for quite some time! Because this project required the use of power tools, my husband taught me how to use his nail gun and I got a refresher on the saw. We discovered that my quart mason jars made really good plant placeholders, which were crucial to have in figuring out the correct shape and dimensions of the wreath structures. The last steps involved painting the shelves green and gluing on bits of live moss for an enhanced botanical feeling.
Installation took place the day before Thanksgiving. The goal was to have the wreaths ready by Black Friday in order to elevate the 2019 Holiday shopping experience. Pacific Place was intentionally focused on creating a positive environment and peaking people’s interest in the shopping complex, especially during the busiest time of the year.
My husband graciously agreed to help me install all four wreaths. We started at Level 1 and worked our way up one level at a time until the last wreath was installed on Level 4. The plants I ended up choosing for the wreaths were a combination of pothos and poinsettias. It was an exciting day to see all four wreaths come to life. They looked fantastic!
All four living wreaths that were designed and built for Pacific Place stayed up through the entire month of December. They even became a photo backdrop for shoppers documenting their Pacific Place visit. A Seattleite named Charles Koh captured these beautiful images:
And the wreaths definitely served as the perfect photo backdrop for the wreath workshop that I had the honor of facilitating at Pacific Place. That blog post will be coming soon! But for now, a sneak peek with Jenn and Kirsty, captured by the fabulous Saskia Potter.