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Urbacon: Benji's Case Study

Urbacon is a well-established architecture firm known for its innovative and sustainable designs. Based in a large open office space, their workspace is beautifully adorned with various tropical plants, desk plants, cacti and more. These green installations not only enhance the aesthetics of their office but also promote a healthy and productive work environment. Urbacon chose to partner with Benji's over 15 years ago and continues to look to us for interior plant care as well as our keen eye for biophilic design, i.e. an approach to architecture that seeks to connect building occupants with nature. 

The Challenge:

Urbacon's commitment to upholding a gold standard for how to integrate nature into a physical space required Benji's to be creative with its selection of plants and to ensure they retained their beauty and radiance for years to come. Challenges included:

  1. Diverse Plant Collection: Urbacon's office features a wide variety of plant species, from low-maintenance cacti to sensitive high-light tropical plants. 

  2. Long term health and beauty : Maintaining the aesthetics and vitality of the plants over many years was a must. This meant ensuring that plants remained fertilized, pest-free, and properly pruned as they continued to grow. Mealybugs and spider mites are some examples of common pests that spring up despite the best care and need to be treated accordingly. Benji's has 40 years treating all forms of pests, we know how to get rid of mealybugs and we know how to care for spider mites.  

  3. Environmental Considerations: As an architecture firm that values sustainability in their own practice, Urbacon wanted a plant maintenance company that shared their commitment to eco-friendly practices. 

During this time our team has maintained a beautiful collection of tropical and desert plants that emphasize the office’s unique open concept from huge cacti and towering palms in the open areas to quirky and intriguing desk plants. The beauty of the final product standouts among the crowd.

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Design Concept

Benji's recognized the importance of incorporating interior design principles, including form, space, colour and lines, when selecting plant species and positioning them in Urbacon's office. The careful application of these principles not only ensured the aesthetic harmony of the space but also complemented Urbacon's architecture and design philosophy.

1. Form:

  • Plant Selection: Benji's considered the various forms that different plant species exhibited. They chose a mix of plants with diverse forms to create visual interest. For instance, they selected tall, upright plants with strong vertical lines to add height and create a sense of grandeur. These included species like Dracaena and Ficus trees. In contrast, low-growing, sprawling plants like trailing pothos were used to soften the edges of furniture and fill empty spaces.

  • Container Selection: To enhance the form and visual appeal of the plants, Benji's carefully chose decorative plant containers that complemented the overall design. They considered the shapes, sizes, and materials of the containers to ensure they matched the office's aesthetic.

2. Space:

  • Plant Placement: Benji's used the concept of negative space (or empty space) strategically when positioning the plants. They ensured that each plant had adequate space around it to thrive and be appreciated. The negative spaces between plants and furniture were designed to provide balance and allow for easy movement within the office.

  • Plant Groupings: Benji's clustered plants in groupings of various sizes, using them to define different areas of the office. For instance, they created a lush tropical corner in a spacious area using a combination of tall and short plants. In smaller nooks, they added single statement plants to maximize the use of available space.

3. Lines:

  • Lines in Plant Selection: Benji's considered how the lines and shapes of the plants could guide the eye and create visual flow within the office. They selected plants with linear features, like tall, vertical stems, to draw attention to specific architectural elements or focal points. The lines of the plants were used to emphasize the existing lines in Urbacon's office design.

  • Lines in Arrangement: The placement of plants was carefully coordinated to create visual lines that reinforced the office's design. For example, a row of tall, slender plants along a wall could echo the lines of a nearby architectural feature or artwork. This alignment of lines contributed to a cohesive and visually appealing design.

4. Color:

  • Plant Selection: The choice of plant species incorporated color as a design element. Benji's selected plants with diverse leaf colors, from vibrant greens to variegated patterns and even plants with striking red or yellow accents. This color variety introduced a dynamic visual contrast to the office and tied in with Urbacon's minimalist color scheme and design preferences.

  • Color Coordination: Benji's ensured that the color of the plants and their containers complemented the overall color palette of the office. The harmonious interplay of plant colors with the interior color scheme added depth and warmth to the workspace.

Incorporating these interior design principles into the selection and placement of plants allowed Benji's to create a harmonious and visually pleasing environment in Urbacon's office. The result was not only a thriving indoor oasis but also a space that seamlessly integrated with the firm's architectural vision, enhancing the overall appeal and functionality of the workspace.

Benji’s overall design choices and deep care for the wellness and beauty of the plantscape has made this one of our most successful and long lasting partnerships.   

What Next?

Looking to bring nature’s beauty into the office? Benji’s has been working with some of the largest office and commercial spaces in the GTA for over 40 years. From custom installations to team building workshops, we bring the tropical garden inside, transforming the ambiance of life at the office.

 

Reach out at hello@benjis.com or +1 416 771 7490.

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