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Clark Street Overbridge

The clever red palette on the Clark Street Overbridge in Auckland by Architectus won top honours in the Resene Total Colour Awards for its unique use of colour on a very public space.

Resene has a long history of colour with colours like Resene Spanish White and Resene Pearl Lusta created over three decades ago still continuing to be top choices for decorators today. With thousands of colours available, the key is not just choosing the right one but putting it together with complementary colours and accents to bring the colour palette to life. With this in mind, the Resene Total Colour Awards were launched to encourage and celebrate excellent and creative use of colour.

Clark Stree Overbridge - view 2

The Resene Total Colour Master Nightingale Award, named after the Nightingale family who founded and still run Resene today, recognises excellence in colour and paint use, and was awarded to Architectus for the Clark Street Overbridge. They also won the Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Award.

Opened in 2011, the Clark Street extension overbridge connects Clark Street to Great North Road over the western line rail corridor, providing a bypass route around New Lynn and creating the opportunity for the recently completed ‘shared space’ on Totara Avenue West to re-establish itself as the pedestrian and commercial focal point of the town centre.

Clark Stree Overbrige

The 300 metre long bridge includes a rhythmic sequence of coloured steel fins, which prevent access to the electrifi ed rail lines below and provide a visual screen to adjacent residences.  More importantly they transform an otherwise utilitarian and familiar roading structure into an energising urban intervention and civic landmark.

Three Resene reds – Resene Roadster (bright red), Resene Monza (clean red) and Resene Livewire (deep ruby red) – were selected as a reference to the site’s historical association with clay brick production, Waitakere Ranges sunsets and to celebrate movement... with a cheeky nod to the western suburb’s love of speed and fast cars. A durable Resene Engineered Coating System of Resene Armourcote 220 and Resene Uracryl 403 will help to ensure the colours withstand the harsh environment.

Clark Street Overbridge

The choice of three complementary reds provides visual complexity and a subtle rhythm, which enables the bridge to be experienced at both an urban and personal scale.

The coloured fins provide a bold contrast with the neutral concrete palette of the main bridge structure and the rich and vibrant greens of the adjacent existing and associated landscaping. Plant species were selected to provide a ‘green on green’ palette with texture and forms that complement the bridge design.

The judges were excited about the colour use because it was “surprising and unexpected to turn a utilitarian commercial road bridge into such a fantastic urban sculpture. Rhythmical in reds, the continuity in this project is delightful. It is almost like an art installation.

It’s a brave decision to choose three reds that are so close together rather than keep them all the same or opt for more contrast. The similarity of the reds provides subtle movement. The light and shadow, it moves you on. It’s energising and it is very appropriate. Brilliantly strong, the strength is in the rhythm and subtle changes of colour.

The whole community can embrace it, it’s something that reaches out and is shared by many with far reaching appeal and identification.

View images of the Resene Total Colour Award winners.

Architectural Specifier: Architectus
Building Contractor: Dempsey Wood
Painting Contractor: DC Weld
Photographer: Claire Hamilton
Winner: Resene Total Colour Master Nightingale Award and Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Award
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2012
From the Resene News – issue 4/2012

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