Euro-style: Slow owner Martina Blanchard in her new Man St store


Queenstown interior and lighting studio Slow has relocated to a landmark Man Street building.

Slow owner and interior designer Martina Blanchard closed her Lower Beach Street premises just before Christmas.

In the next day or so, it’ll officially reopen at 10 Man Street, which she and husband Daren took possession of last month after buying it for $3.1 million-plus.

Since then they’ve been busy upgrading the two-storey building, stripping layers of paint — including from its signature Shotover River stone feature walls — pulling up carpets, repainting and replanting the garden.

Asked what attracted her to the building, which dates back to the early ’60s and formerly housed the ABC College of English for many years, she says ‘‘the location, one hundred per cent’’.

‘‘Also the architecture, the roofline especially, reminds me of [influential architect] Frank Lloyd Wright.’’

It sits between the Brecon Street steps and Man St carpark on the busy pedestrian route between the Skyline gondola and the CBD, and across the road from an under-construction boutique hotel.

It served as the copshop for the locally-shot TV crime series, One Lane Bridge. Blanchard regards the new store as a ‘‘pop-up’’, and plans to eventually relocate to a more permanent location in Frankton, if a suitable space can be found.

With its prime location, two entrances and several downstairs rooms, it has many possible configurations and potential tenants, she says.

It also has redevelopment potential, although they have no plans at this stage. ‘‘We’ll see what happens around us when everything’s built.’’

Blanchard set up her Beach St store not long after the couple moved to the resort in 2018 from Auckland, where she owns another Slow store in Ponsonby.

The Man St store will be open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.