Kamis, 24 Mei 2012

The Barnes, Take 1: Festive Brights

This week, I had the honor of designing the flowers for two of the very first events at the Barnes Foundation. What a thrill! The Barnes Foundation just opened up in its new location on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia and it was such a treat to work in the space just as the world is going mad to get inside to take a look.

The Court, the primary space for the event, seems deceptively simple - dark wood floors and neutral walls - but upon a closer look, one sees the detail in the stone, the fabric panels and the incredible light canopy. Outside on the Terrace, the cleverly constructed outdoor fireplace and planted trees makes one feel as though one is in a private garden, not in the middle of the city.

For my first event, my corporate client hosted 350 people at a cocktail reception. To accommodate the guests and the flow of the evening, there were over 40 cocktail tables of varying heights placed throughout the Court and the Terrace.  Upon entering the Barnes, guests were greeted by an antique rusted metal urn teeming with corkscrew willow and flowers and surrounded by flats of burlap-wrapped wheatgrass.

When designing in a large space, I believe that one must work with it and not try to compete - one should merely complement. So much of the beauty of the Court is seen with eyes upward and I wanted to change people's line of vision when walking in the room. To do so, I placed two towering architectural wire urns on the central food and wine stations, french flower buckets and glass pilsners around the perimeter, and on the Terrace, I placed a tiered wire container overflowing with flowers on the food station.

Next up will be the second night, which was a completely different look and feel. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this first glimpse of a bright, festive night at the Barnes.

Flowers pictured include: white hydrangea, lime green hydrangea, Dune gerbera daisies, snapdragon, voodoo roses, orange unique roses, bells of Ireland, Navonna lilies, orange brunello lilies, lady's mantle,  trick dianthus, mini green hydrangea, bupleurum, salal, pittosporum, curly willow.

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