Total Colour Award winners



The key to make this hotel successful was to be able to ‘tell’ the Oamaru story so it was a destination to differentiate itself from other cookie cutter accommodations.

Carter Smith Architecture + Interiors have designed, and at times owned, hotels and hospitality projects in various locations in New Zealand and Asia.

Poshtel Hotel exterior

Poshtel light hallway

Their client has a preponderance to ‘collect’ things. Sometimes its buildings, sometimes memorabilia. It’s not uncommon to get a phone call to sort out the current purchase, which makes work interesting!

Poshtel Hotel - communal dining area

Poshtel Hotel - communal lounge

This time the client was taking a road trip around the South Island and by the time he got to Oamaru texts of buildings for sale in Oamaru were arriving. One of these, the building on the corner of Thames and Eden Street caught attention for its floor space, sufficient to accommodate 15 suites for a boutique hotel.

Green hotel interior

White hotel bedroom

Brown hotel interior

The key to make this hotel successful was to be able to ‘tell’ the Oamaru story so it was a destination to differentiate itself from other cookie cutter accommodations. The client took this to heart and sent seven containers of collectibles to Oamaru for curation also provided art gallery space for an extensive pacific art collection.

Hotel exterior

Grey hotel exterior

Hotel exterior at night

The interior colours had to reflect and not dominate the extensive memorabilia in the public and private spaces, but they also needed to create a friendly and welcoming space. Public wall areas are finished in Resene Canterbury Clay with the ceiling in Resene Steel Grey and steel windows in Resene Black. Skirtings and architraves are Resene Lustacryl White. Feature walls in the kitchen and galley are picked out in Resene Como. The bedrooms are painted in the classic hue of Resene Half Tea. These are classic colours from a different era that push viewer boundaries. The gallery space had to allow for a variety of artwork.

Light blue hotel bedroom

Poshtel Hotel - interior decorations

Hanging seagull decorations

On the exterior the building has a strong masculine façade from the 1930s. The exterior colour palette of Resene Baltic Sea, Resene Quarter Baltic Sea with window frames in Resene Black has been chosen to celebrate the architecture but also reflect the contemporary audience of the interior.

To work with a client with an incredible passion for collecting to bring this project alive made this a truly fulfilling and fun project.

Architectural specifier: Carter Smith Architecture + Interiors
Building contractor: Clearcut Building Otematata Ltd
Client: Poshtel
Engineering: TM Consultants
Fire engineering: Enlightened Solutions
Interior design: Marilyn Carter Smith
Painting contractor: Otago Painting Solutions
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2020

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