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With the New Zealand finalists in the 2014 Dulux Colour Awards now announced, what are the design & decoration professionals operating at the top level offering as best practice?
This year’s New Zealand entries to the 28th iteration of these Australasian awards include a Category II heritage building in Wellington, an industrial-inspired makeover of a 1970s Newmarket car park, a 1903 character villa in Blenheim, a reworked space for a wine brand amid the Marlborough vineyards, and a contemporary Christchurch apartment complex.
The New Zealand finalists (in their relevant categories) are:
Single Residential Interior – Murphys Road House by Alex Fulton Design (1) – A 1903 Blenheim villa, the Murphys Road House needed to reflect the “maximalist”, colourful and kooky style of designer Alex Fulton and her family. Fulton wanted to highlight the home’s character features, yet inject some colour and life into the old beauty. Using a different bold colour in every room – including dark charcoal, lake blue, bright and candy pinks, mandarin orange, and grassy green – tied together with crisp white trims, the house exudes personality without compromising the space’s original craftsmanship.
Multi Residential Exterior – Riccarton Road Apartments by Stufken + Chambers Architects – Inspired by the surrounding natural environment, Stufken + Chambers Architects coated the exterior surfaces of Christchurch’s Riccarton Road Apartments in a restrained palette of white, brightened with splashes of leafy green, vibrant red, and sky blue on individual balconies.
Student – 283 Cuba Street by Henry D’Ath – Amidst the historic framework of iconic Cuba Street, Wellington, student Henry D’Ath saw one building that stuck out: 283 Cuba Street is a single office building, constructed during the 1980s and (as with many buildings of its era) ignorant of its heritage surrounds. D’Ath’s university project envisioned integrating this building – through a series of “cuts” to expose the “guts” of the interior, splashed in yellows and greens, to create a contemporary laneway into the street.
Commercial Interiors – Astrolab Wines byAlex Fulton Design (2) –From a run-down residential home, the working space for Blenheim wine company Astrolabe Wines emerged. With a brief to modernise the character house to accommodate working and hosting areas, interior designers Alex Fulton Design integrated the space with the vineyard surrounds – contrasting a trio of green hues with chalky black and crisp white.
Commercial Interiors – 8 Leek Street Newmarket by Outline Design – 8 Leek Street Newmarket, home to new commercial offices, is a 1970s building reborn. The former car park has been given a vibrant new lease on life and has been rebuilt within the existing shell to house a creative marketing business, yet still reflect its historic function through an industrial colour scheme, fixtures, fittings and graphics. Against the neutral calming backdrop of Dulux Mt Aspiring Quarter, Outline Design incorporated bright pops of colour with vibrant blocks of leafy green and Dark charcoal, with steel beams and safety equipment in kowhai yellow.
Commercial Interiors – Harbour City Centre by Studio Pacific Architecture (3) – Built in 1928, the Harbour City Centre on Lambton Quay is a Category II heritage building. Commissioned by Kirkcaldie & Stains to refurbish the interior, Studio Pacific Architecture worked with charcoals and soft greys to recreate the drama and impact that had been lost in the existing pale paintwork. Sensitive to reflecting the building’s history, the team took colour cues from existing surfaces – the marble wall lining, the pink-tinged tiles – to highlight intricate details in a departure from conventional heritage schemes.
Louise McKenzie-Smith, Dulux Colour Expert and member of the judging panel that selected the finalists, said 2014 was a strong year for New Zealand colourists.
“Bright yellows, oranges, blues and greens dominated this year, contrasted with bold near-blacks and crisp whites. Eighties inspired schemes were big, mixing bold, clashing colours and geometric shapes, experimenting with colour on ceilings and door frames, playing with sheen and gloss.
“For residential spaces particularly, we also saw more earth-inspired hues – olive and leafy greens were in plenty of palettes this year. Reds and greys were also popular, and the use of colour blocking was prominent – it’s a trend that keeps on giving.
“The New Zealand heritage restoration work really stood out this year – no doubt due to the increasing work in Christchurch and Wellington. We saw a real respect for existing buildings, emphasising ornamental and structural details, yet with a refreshing use of palettes that steered away from just pale or neutral shades.”
The 2014 Dulux Colour Awards executive judging panel, which includes Claire Sullivan, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of New Zealand publications, Denizen and Design Folio, as the sole New Zealand judge, along with Geoffrey Carran, NZ-born contemporary artist, Daimon Downey, ex-Sneaky Sound System musician, creative and entrepreneur, Daniel Dalla Riva, designer and Callum Fraser, architect.
Whittled down from entries by top names in the design community, the most creative colour schemes will progress through to the final stage of the trans-Tasman awards. Winners will be announced at a gala evening in Melbourne on 27 March, 2014 (the day after we go to press…).