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pattern a la paua

PAUA Re-branding

The aim of the project was for the repaint to act not only as signage but also as a piece of art to enhance the surrounding environment.

TCA 2017 gallery photo

PAUA architects was previously Antanas Procuta Architects. The company name change followed in the footsteps of the Hamilton City Council’s decision to rename the road the company building is located on; Bridge Street became ANZAC Parade in honour of the 100 year commemoration of the Anzacs at Gallipoli.

This was the perfect time to rebrand the company and this included a repaint of the building exterior to reflect this new direction. PAUA is an acronym for Procuta Associates Urban + Architects. Paua is the Maori name given to a species of abalone and when the shells are highly polished it emphasises their striking blue, green and purple iridescent colour.

The paua shell is seen as an iconic New Zealand symbol and the colours define this. The base colour was selected to modernise the building and to act as a background ground to enhance the paua mural colours.

exterior building

Working with mural artist Paul Bradley the paua colours and form were developed into an inspiring artwork that wraps the building and the associated retaining walls of the carpark.

The aim of the project was for the repaint to act not only as signage but also as a piece of art to enhance the surrounding environment.

Paul Bradley is an artist based in Hamilton and is part of Creative Waikato. Paul Bradley and PAUA architects have worked together on other public buildings and spaces making Paul an obvious choice when looking for an artist to develop an artwork to reflect the new name and re-branding.

logo outside wall
detail walls and front door
exterior details

The design for the mural was based on the typographic maps that architects use to understand a site they are designing for. Paul took inspiration from this and also from the lines of pattern in the paua shell. The colours chosen – Resene Lumbersider in Resene Christalle (strong purple), Resene Havelock Blue (summer blue), Resene Java (intense turquoise), Resene Mantis (bright green) - all reflect the amazing range of colours and vibrancy of the polished shell. These blues, greens and purples really pop against the neutral dark grey background and the mid-grey outlines. Paul aimed for restraint in the colours, so that each highlight of colour has presence and impact.

The big challenge of painting this building was access. The boom lift had to be positioned in just the right spots to reach all of the parts of the building that needed to be painted.


The base colour Resene Double Cod Grey (black charcoal) uses Resene Lumbersider CoolColour to reflect more heat than a standard version of the colour would, with the roof in Resene Summit Roof CoolColour Half Delta (stone grey) due to its location and exposure. This Resene Half Delta is continued onto the fascia and barge board in Resene Lumbersider CoolColour, and repeated on the exterior timber joinery. The soffits are light in colour and hue using Resene Lumbersider in Resene Quarter Villa White (yellow white). Fiery Resene Ayers Rock (sunset orange) frames the door and welcomes you in teamed with Resene Double Cod Grey.

PAUA Re-branding by PAUA Architects was awarded a Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Colour Maestro Award. The judges said: “Telling the brand story in imagery and colour makes this project ever the more memorable. The brand is not just placed on the building, but is wholeheartedly wrapped around it. The colours are reminiscent of the flow of a river as it meanders along and a clever interpretation of the interior of a paua. The design and colour palette works on both a practical and aesthetic level. The paua contours act as a wayfinding device directing you towards the carpark and into the office. Embracing the brand, it’s lovely, whimsical and a perfect reflection of the creativity that lies within.”

Client: PAUA Architects (previously Antanas Procuta)
Colour selection: Jess Clarkin, PAUA Architects and Paul Bradley
Mural artist: Paul Bradley
Painting contractor: Nigel Kovacevic
Photographer: Andrea O’Connor
Winner: Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Colour Maestro Award
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2017
From the Resene News – issue 1/2018

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