Finally in place is our latest project – a huge artificial Ficus tree
The ANZ Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand has recently become home to a striking white artificial Ficus tree courtesy of the skillful team of artists and designers here at Treelocate. The brand new four storey ANZ Centre is located in central Christchurch and was a huge project orchestrated by Tim Glasson. Glasson, a New Zealand property investor and businessman, contributed the complex as one of a number of projects that are revitalising the area of central Christchurch after a series of devastating earthquakes damaged the city extensively between 2010 and 2012.
Based in the centre of the commercial hub of the city, the ANZ Centre is home to both retail and corporate interests. A number of high end fashion and jewellery stores provide ample shopping opportunities and above them are the offices of ANZ Bank and Beca, an engineering and consultancy firm. The most attention grabbing feature of the building is the stunning and massive atrium, the centrepiece of which is our incredible bespoke Ficus tree.
The unmissable pure white Ficus tree, which stands tall by the central dining area surrounded by prim Buxus hedging, will be used as a canvas as lighting allows splashes of colour to illuminate the tree in an incredibly flexible and satisfying manner. Of course, this final scene is the result of weeks of careful work carried out in the UK at Treelocate.
We offer partially artificial and full artificial trees both of which have their own particular benefits depending on the circumstances surrounding the project. This particular Ficus is an entirely artificial tree which began life as a metal skeleton carefully welded into shape to provide sturdy support. After the skeleton has been welded, the frame is coated in chemically complex expanding foam which is then meticulously carved into shape. Finally hardened plastic bark is added to the frame from moulds taken from genuine trees giving an authentic texture. The bark is then fastidiously hand painted by our specialists to emulate the myriad of colours generated by real trees.
The final phase of any build with respect to the shape of the tree is adding the foliage to give the tree its satisfying canopy. This is an intensely important aspect of the construction not only because the shape of the canopy gives the tree a huge part of its character but because the composition of the foliage gives the tree its defence against the elements and ensures its longevity. We can offer two vital chemical compounds inherent in the foliage:
UVSILX uv resistant foliage is used to provide protection from prolonged exposure to sunlight. Over time the colour of the foliage will fade if it is not adequately protected so its use is of paramount importance for those trees that are going to spend their time in the sun. Our UVSILX compound preserves the foliage in the desired shade and ensures that the tree will remain fresh and strong in its appearance for many years and in any climate. A second chemical compound FIRESILX, which is fire retardant leaves in accordance with British Building Standards, is also available allowing for peace of mind and higher safety standards for trees that are going to be displayed indoors. Both of these brands are exclusive to Treelocate and perform their respective duties to the high standards that we demand.
This artificial Ficus tree was fabricated by our zealous team over three weeks in the UK before being disassembled and shipped across the world. It was critical that the tree stand up to the rugged safety measures demanded by the New Zealand customs authorities which, naturally, it did. Furthermore, structural seismic calculations had to be demonstrated to satisfy the civil engineers in charge of the project to satisfy insurance considerations.
Seven weeks later, the disassembled tree along with our own Georgia Thompson arrived in Christchurch for the installation. Our Ficus was then re-assembled over two days with the help of a local team from Leighs Construction under the supervision of Georgia. A time-lapse video of this fascinating reassembly process can be watched below.