Rusted ‘jewellery box’ conceals tantalising treasures

Clare Scanlan

May 07, 2021

Fraser Horton Designs employed Porter’s Liquid Iron & Instant Rust, and the ancient art of conceal & reveal, to offer diners a magical experience inside a shipping container at the Constellation Brands Vineyard in Marlborough.

The Brief

“The brief from the client was to create a completely off-the-grid dining pavilion to entertain guests sitting amongst the vines in a vineyard in Marlborough” explains Fraser Horton.

“The original design concept came from seeing so many rusting storage containers in fields and on farms. I wanted to create a pavilion which appeared like these weathered and degraded containers on the outside, but when opened up like a jewellery box, revealed a refined and elegant space on the inside.”

However, within this visionary design lay a problem

The issue with using a rusted metal structure is that once the rusting begins it can’t be halted and eventually & inevitably degrades completely, often resulting in a spectacular collapse. Not an ideal characteristic for an architectural structure.

The Solution

The solution was discovered with Porter’s Liquid Iron and Instant Rust, which creates a genuine film of rust across a tough exterior grade paint finish in a short time frame, whilst also protecting the underlying substrate from oxidisation.

“We chose Porter's Liquid Iron because we originally wanted to sandblast the containers to strip them back to bare metal and let them rust naturally, however realistically this was too problematic, so we decided to find a solution which would give a similar effect. Liquid Iron allowed us to get the natural rust finish we were after, while still protecting the container steel.” Horton explains.

A truly authentic exterior

Horton also made sure the application was just as considered as the product choice itself, in the process creating a truly authentic exterior, whose aged & natural beauty contrasts strikingly with the refined luxury of the interior:

“With the Porter’s [Liquid Iron] we made sure we painted in long vertical strokes to emphasise the idea that rust would be running down the container. We then applied an Instant Rust acid wash over that with the same vertical strokes to enhance the rusting look — emphasising that vertical streaking down, just as rain would fall down the container and create rust lines. That was unique.”

This attention to detail has paid dividends, with Horton’s clients “very happy with the result”.

The pavilion “is a very intriguing and special object for guests to experience.” We agree completely, and congratulate Fraser Horton for his innovative approach to designing for the environment, resulting in a world class experience.

Readers lucky enough to visit the Marlborough region of New Zealand should definitely make the time to explore this wonderful site-specific design and the glorious treats the area offers up in abundance. For those inspired to try their hand at their own transformative vision using Liquid Iron, all the information you need can be found on our website, or in-store.