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NZ designer projects finalists in Australasian competition

6 March 2012

Colourful Collection of New Zealand Projects Named as Finalists in Prestigious Australasian Competition

Designers and architects from around the country will be painting the town red after being named as finalists in the prestigious Australasian based Dulux Colour Awards.

An eclectic collection of 20 New Zealand projects – ranging from a colourful caravan, a techni-coloured activity centre and 'skater pit stop', a post Christchurch earthquake pop-up store, an Indian restaurant and a hospital emergency department – caught the eye of this year’s judges, making it through to the finalist stage of the awards.

Now in their 26th year, the Dulux Colour Awards are the premiere showcase in Australasia for the creative use of colour in architecture and interior design.

Open to design and architectural professionals and students throughout Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea and judged across eight categories (Single Residential Exterior, Multi Residential Exterior, Single Residential Interior, Multi Residential Exterior, Commercial Exterior, Commercial Interior, Sustainable Interior and Student) a record number of entries were received this year, with an impressive 111 entries making the finalist grade.

Proving that hospital emergency rooms and theatres needn’t look as sterile as the equipment that’s used in them, Auckland based Klein Architects gained a finalist nod in the Sustainable Interior category for their work on the Hutt Valley Hospital Emergency Department and Theatres, while two very colourful caravan designs helped put Christchurch based Karen Lambert and Debbie Harrison in the running to take out an award in the Student category.

Not one to shy away from the use of bright colour, Christchurch interior designer Alex Fulton - who was named as a finalist at last year’s awards for her bold and whimsical ‘Dine by Design’ creation - once again impressed, with her vibrant design for a post-earthquake pop-up furniture store, Out of the Box, named as a finalist in the Commercial Interior category.

Housed in two shipping containers, the Out of the Box furniture and interior store was created in response to the lack of suitable commercial spaces being available in Christchurch following the devastating 2010/11 earthquakes.

With the containers being leased and the only shade permitted on its walls being white, Fulton came up with a unique solution to add vibrant pops of colour to the confined space, creating bold eye-catching, art installations which were placed in each end of the containers. Using vivid hues from the Dulux Colours of New Zealand range, these colours were then repeated through the addition of equally bright colour cubes placed in each container.

Taking colour to new heights, Auckland based Helen Wilcock of design.spec was named as a finalist in the Commercial Interior category for her Bikanervala Venue Room colour scheme, which featured shimmering gold walls and a sumptuous deep purple shade on the ceiling of the Papatoetoe based Indian fast-food restaurant’s party and function space.

Wilcock – one of just two New Zealand designers to secure themselves two finalist spots at this year’s awards – received her second nomination in the Single Residential Exterior category for the colour scheme she devised for “The Church” - an historic converted kauri church situated in the trendy Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn.

Built in the late 1800s and now serving as a private residence, Wilcock was tasked with bringing elegance back to the former Primitive Baptist Church of St. Jude, which was adorned in shades of apricot, blue and maroon – a hangover from the 1970s. To restore the church conversion to its former glory and complement the surrounding gardens, Wilcock used a selection of heavenly grey and green tones, which included the custom-made “Church Green” shade, created by Dulux especially for the project.

A contemporary residence in Mt Eden and an earthy scheme for a green rated home situated in the environmentally responsible 15 hectare Ferndale development in Waikanae - were the other two New Zealand Single Residential Exterior entries to make it through to the finals.

A diverse selection of projects ranging from the Ormiston Activity Centre – a techni-coloured activity centre and 'skater pit stop' for Auckland's Flat Bush residents - the Elmwood Garden Function Centre in Invercargill and Mt Albert Primary School, were singled out as tops in the Commercial Exterior category, while an equally eclectic range of entries, including colour schemes for the Vero Insurance building in Auckland, the Clevedon Boutique Dental Practice and Volom marketing agency in Auckland, taking their place as finalists in the hotly contested Commercial Interior category.

The winners of the 2012 Dulux Colour Awards will be announced at a gala dinner in Melbourne on March 28, 2012.

Category prize winners will take home AUD$1500 in cash plus a trophy, while students win AUD$1000 cash prize and trophy, plus the opportunity to produce their own limited edition colour palette. The Grand Prix prize is AUD$2000 plus a Business Class airfare to an international design fair.

A full list of New Zealand finalists is as follows:

Commercial Exterior:

Elmwood Garden Function Centre, Gillian Graham, Gillian Graham Colour & Design
Ormiston Activity Centre, Hannah Mortensen, Archoffice
University of Canterbury Oval Village, Iain Nicholls, Warren & Mahoney Architects
Mt Albert Primary School, Fiona Small, Sienna Design

Commercial Interior:

Clevedon Boutique Dental Practice, Donna Butler, Donna White Interior Design
Out of the Box, Alex Fulton, Alex Fulton Design
Baxter Healthcare, Craig Grant, Arcube Architects
Janssen-Cilag Pty Ltd, Georgina Pepper, Creative Spaces
Vero Insurance New Zealand Ltd, Georgina Pepper, Creative Spaces
Volom, Daniel Price, Outline Design
Bikanervala Venue, Gillian Graham, Gillian Graham Colour & Design

Single Residential Exterior:

Mt. Eden House Exterior, Wendy Goode, Goode Interiors
Ferndale, Heather Thorley, Colour Options Ltd
The Church, Helen Wilcock, design.spec

Single Residential Interior:

Edgars Rd - Cox’s Bay, Lynne Browning, Lynne Browning Design
Titoki Street, Sarah Lassche-Jones, Designer Interiors

Sustainable Interior

Hutt Valley Hospital Emergency Department & Theatres, Ricky Lam, Klein Architects


Caravan Remodel, Karen Lambert, KDL Interiors
Mather Caravan Project, Debbie Harrison, CPIT Christchurch
Wellington Exposed, Michelle Macky, Massey University


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