Kuoni, a leading luxury travel brand, has opened a sumptuous new store in the Whitefriars Shopping Centre in Canterbury, with an unusual ‘meet and greet’ desk. The desk is knitted from 3,250 metres of Merino lambs-wool, other mixed wools and cotton in a variety of eye-catching colours.
Mrs Margit Viola of Augsburg in Germany is the lady who spent weeks lovingly knitting the desk using 34 balls of wool in colours: orange, bright blue, grey, black, brown and white. The completed piece was then flown to the UK and installed ready to meet Canterbury’s Lord Major and other VIP guests from Canterbury on the 31 January 2012 at the store’s official opening party. Mrs Viola, well known for her knitting prowess, was commissioned by Kuoni to start knitting the desk back in 2011.
The inspiration for the knitted desk came from Julie Day, Facilities Manager at Kuoni who says: “I wanted to create a dramatic first impression to the store as well as an unusual feature. The knitted desk is a real talking point and people love to touch and feel its texture. There is something about wool that is naturally warm and welcoming; this feel links with what Kuoni wants to convey - the warm welcomes our travellers receive from our staff across the world.”
In addition to the meet and greet desk, the store also boasts a dramatic 16 metre long rug that runs the length of the floor and up a wall to ceiling height in a dramatic mix of terracotta, mustard, olive green and beige colours. Authentic artefacts from different countries such as Bali and Africa make visitors feel a sense of far flung places and exotic travel from the moment they arrive in store.