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From the Resene News - issue 1/2017

Harbour viewed - The Wedge, Rawene

From the Resene Total Colour Awards gallery of entries

Resene Total Colour Awards 2016
The Wedge, Rawene, Hokianga

Rawene is a small harbourside town in the Hokianga that has been called 'Northland's little known gem' owing to its attractive heritage character and picturesque setting. The Rawene ferry is a link in the west coast route to Cape Reinga and provides a view across the harbour as you approach Rawene.

This project is located on the Clendon Esplanade waterfront in Rawene town centre and involved an unusual building. Built in the late 1940s as a two storey joinery workshop the building has a triangular footprint and for this reason is known locally as the Wedge. Both floors have ground level entry as the street rises steeply along the second frontage on Parnell Street.

A number of businesses had occupied the building over the years, including that of the young lawyer David Lange, but it was vacant when the current owners took over. The plan was to double the number of lettable units so that two shops were formed with new shopfronts facing the harbour, and a two storey office built beside the existing gallery at the higher level.

As the site is within Rawene's heritage precinct and close to several scheduled buildings the owners, being design professionals, were keen to respect the local character. Traditional materials and a gabled parapet design detail seen on older commercial buildings nearby disguised the newness of the office, and the use of reclaimed sliding sash windows with canopies over them reinforced the effect.

Colour has been a theme of the project. The concept grew from the idea of producing a tourism promotion image that shows Rawene across the harbour. The inspiration for this came from trips to towns overseas where colourful buildings help to create the distinctive character that tourists find attractive and want to visit.

The Wedge, Rawene
The Wedge, Rawene

The commercial and heritage context of the Wedge was an important consideration in the choice of colours. Being located within the heritage precinct meant that the colour scheme required Resource Consent as an element of the proposals. Staff at Heritage New Zealand were particularly supportive of the project.

Previously the Wedge building was seen as a single structure unified in shades of blue, with interest in the multi-coloured windows and doors. The result was appealing from the street, but somewhat monolithic in its appearance overall.

The new approach required a lively colour combination that would be seen from afar, and as red shades carry in distant views these were the starting point in the selection. Introducing two new shopfronts gave logic to implying a division of the building as a whole, and this was achieved mainly with colour, using Resene Joie De Vivre (persimmon) and Resene Kumutoto (maritime aqua) on the weatherboards. The new two storey office building was painted in the complementary Resene Flourish (pesto lime) to enhance the distant visual effect.

The new Clendon Esplanade shopfront pilasters, doors and canopies, and facings and mouldings were finished in Resene Villa White (smooth yellow white). One business tenant chose to have their shopfront fascia and stall riser painted in Resene Tarot (deep royal purple) and the other chose Resene Flourish. Resene Villa White was also used for corner boxings and flashings to give a coherent visual structure to the building as a whole.

The Wedge, Rawene-streetThe Wedge, Rawene-street

The window joinery is Resene White with architraves painted Resene Rob Roy (ochre gold). This combination was repeated around the building including the Parnell Street shopfront where Resene Tarot was again chosen for the panels and veranda fascia. The parapet capping around the building has been painted Resene Biscay CoolColour (stormy blue) to quietly frame the building against the sky.

The office, with its different form and architectural style, has been treated as a separate building. The window and door architraves, canopies and the corner boxings are painted Resene Villa White to frame the Resene Flourish coloured weatherboards, with the sashes painted Resene White. To complete the palette, Resene Hot August (orange toned red) adorns the Parnell Street entrance door.

Environmental Choice approved Resene Lumbersider was used on weatherboards and panels for ease of application and for its preferred low sheen finish, with Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss for facings, joinery and doors for wear resistance and finish and Resene Sun Defier (now known as Resene Clearcoat UVS) on the Resene Joie de Vivre weatherboards to provide extra protection against fading. The painting schedule was carefully planned to avoid disturbing the herons nesting in the oak tree beside the building.

The Wedge, Rawene

The Wedge by David Truscott and Gaynor Revill won the Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Award 2016. The judges thought:

“This project enhances the entire townscape with an extraordinary manipulation of colour. The soft colour palette works well with the built landscape and the watery surroundings and is applied with sensitivity, enhancing the building form with its placement. The stronger colours are reinforced with careful trim colour combinations that add shape and definition.

Viewed from afar, the buildings add to the vista and beckon you as you approach from the water, encouraging exploration when you disembark. From street level the colour adds personality.

A perfect example of the transformational power of colour.”

Architectural specifier: David Truscott and Gaynor Revill
Building contractor: Malcolm Kildare

View hundreds of case studies of Resene products used on projects all over New Zealand and Australia.

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