Pak'n Save Frankton

There is a balancing act to be struck when developing a new big box store in one of New Zealand’s most picturesque locations.  So whilst the primary purpose of the immediate grounds and car parking area outside of PaK n’ Save Frankton are assuredly functional, there has to be the addition of something that elevates the area to meet the aesthetics of the alpine backdrop, to entwine it with the general ambience and feeling of the area.

The very selective addition of the right trees and plants manges to do just this.  In particular, the use of LIQUIDAMBAR styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ to break up the rows of parking spots, brings a changing show of colour set against a grey ground.  That show reaches its climax in Autumn, as the large star-shaped leaves change to a fiery red and stand in bold contrast to the blue skies and the snow-dusted alpine backdrop.  With it’s straight and slim trunk, the Worplesdon’s green summer foliage provide shade for the parked cars of eager shoppers.

Guiding the shoppers by the walkways is the OLEA europa var. – Olive.  With its egg shaped appearance, it provides softening to the otherwise brutalistic straight lines and edges of the car park.  This makes it quite perfectly placed.  It becomes a gentle and welcoming guide, subtly pulling shoppers towards the retail entrance.  

Acting as a border of sorts, the perimeter features the native CORDYLINE australis – Cabbage Tree.  Its use at the boundary with the main thoroughfare adds the needed definitiveness but does it in such a way that is enticing and in-keeping with the rest of the surroundings.  Other plantings include NOTHOFAGUS solandri – Mountain Beech and NOTHOFAGUS fusca – Red Beech.  They pull off the quite astonishing act of blending into the overall design without overpowering it.  Yet you know if they were absent, there would be the immediate sense of something being missing.  For this is a delicately and purposely balanced design that works because of the aesthetic interdependency of the plantings.  The finished look is subtly effective and attractive.