The Herbarium: Crabtree & Evelyn

Posted on October 15, 2015 by Annalisa

The Herbarium display for the Crabtree & Evelyn store at Regent Street was part of the RIBA Regent Street Window project collaboratively designed by the architects London Atelier and lighting designers Michael Grubb Studio. The display captures the memory of English Still rooms. A delicate combination of colourful and fascinating plants and flowers, tracing papers, copper and brass utensils, wooden surfaces of country kitchens and remedies, potions and cosmetic products were the inspiration for the project.

The display is a choreographed ensemble of herbs, plants and flowers preserved in panes of soap within a brass grid lit by an LED matrix.

A grid of 96 boxes or pigeon holes was made into 4 separate modules. 77 of these modules were caped with panes of soap with botanical compositions made from around 200 different species of plants common to English gardens cast into them. The piece is constructed from lightly stained plywood, frosted glass and brass angles that hold the soap panes in place and it rests on a plinth of 10mm steel. It is lit using 77 linear runs of LED lights which are connected to a computer to create a subtle, organically animated and surprising lighting effect.  The lighting matrix responds to the movements of the passers-by and translates them into disturbances and ripples into general pattern.