Piopio Primary School is situated in a small town in rural King Country, surrounded mainly by paddocks, trees and a few neighbouring houses, with a roll of around 140 students of new entrants to year 6.
It consists of a variety of buildings, some over 100 years old, which have been added to the school over many years, ranging from traditional buildings to a relatively new beige skyline garage. The majority of the buildings are traditional weatherboard, each block in a different sized board, with original sash windows and retro-fitted white aluminium glass doors. There is also a block of classrooms and two toilet blocks that are prefabricated 1970s V-groove plywood buildings with minimal roof overhangs and very little architectural detail.
The brief was to design a colour scheme which would tie all the buildings together, be inspiring and colourful for the students and staff and generally brighten up a relatively dull and tired existing paint scheme. It had to sit well in the surroundings of deciduous trees and extensive grassy grounds and last for at least 10 years. It also had to fit within a very tight budget. This all had to be approved by seven members on the Board of Trustees ranging in personality from conservative to ‘bring it on!’
The main colours of Resene Tea (river boulder beige), Resene Eighth Tea (milky beige) and Resene Revolver (blackened purple) were chosen to reflect and enhance the traditional details of the majority of the older buildings in the school. These buildings were also the more serious areas which housed the main office, reception and staff rooms, and they faced the street to the north and the College to the east. Resene Revolver was used as a twist on a traditional grey because its slight purple hue reflected fun and creativity while still working harmoniously with the Resene Tea.
There were small hints of accent colour in these more serious areas such as the disused dentist’s building painted Resene Shiraz (blue berry red), and these lead into the main school enclosure where more accent colours are fully revealed. This is where the classrooms and student play areas are and was designed so that the students had ownership of these ‘cool’ colours. Therefore if they chose to they could invite people into their school to share the scheme with them.
The accent colours were selected to promote energy and creativity as well as to reflect the changing countryside. Resene Poprock (yellow green) was chosen from the lime green autumn leaves which surround the school and Resene Wot Eva (hip blue) as a reflection of the blue sky. To balance these colours Resene Pukeko (rich violet) is used on the caretaker’s office, with Resene Fun Blue (striking blue) on the sports shed and Resene Starbell (gold orange). Resene Shiraz was selected as the school colours are red and black and each of the accent colours had to work with each other and the main colours of Resene Revolver and Resene Tea.
The students are also grouped into colour houses and part of the brief was to provide areas of colour which could be used as meeting areas. Painting the senior block’s seats in house colours provided these zones.
Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss waterborne paint was used to paint the existing weatherboards because of its wearability and longevity and also for ease of application and clean-up. Being Environmental Choice and waterborne it was also a safe choice for the painters and the children.
Resene Summit Roof paint was used on roofing because of its ability to be painted over the existing well weathered COLORSTEEL®. Being non-toxic and having mould inhibiting qualities made it an easy choice. Resene Sidewalk paint was chosen for the high traffic concrete steps. Used over a primer of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer, its anti-slip component and abrasion resistant properties have worked well in this high traffic situation.
The accent paint colours such as Resene Wot Eva were designed to be painted in blocks to minimise the cost of the painter. In most cases a single building’s walls could be painted in one colour. All the buildings were unified using Resene Revolver for the roof, base boards and window sills and on steps to tie everything together. Similarly, Resene Eighth Tea was used on all windows, doors and trims. The students also loved the names of the colours that were chosen.
A Resene Total Colour Maestro Education Junior Award was awarded to Piopio Primary School by Van Beek Design for its use of colour to bring new life to old buildings.
The judges thought the colour palette was “thoughtful and not obvious, this school enjoys a restrained use of colour, a great example of not trying to do too much. The colour palette is a very gentle treatment of an old country school that has grown and integrates new and old so very well. Colours have been chosen to reflect and enhance the traditional details and accents are used for energy and creativity.
A refreshing new look for a much loved school that is the heart of the community.”
Building and painting contractor: Bob Baker
Client: Piopio Primary School
Colour selection: Trudy Denize, Van Beek Design
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