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NZMA Sylvia Park Campus
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NZMA Sylvia Park Campus

Auckland

NZMA are a tertiary education provider in the Business, Hospitality, Cookery Construction and Retail sectors. The brief was to merge and centralise existing premises from Auckland Central and Panmure into one new site located at Carbine Road.

A complex brief required multiple teaching spaces, tutor offices, management offices, student gathering spaces and amenities, with the design needing to accommodate allowance for an expanding roll over time. The current fit-out is stage one of multiple development stages.

The brief comprised an extensive list of facilities, rooms and logistics requirements. The design task was similar to assembling a jigsaw puzzle. All of these facilities and spaces had to fit within the existing warehouse box. The key was to locate the Café as the central hub of the organisation, which had to be visible from the outside, and then allow the remaining collection of spaces to radiate around it. Commercial training kitchens, bar training, barista training, restaurant training and main circulation corridors are positioned to wrap around the café with the design further radiating out into quiet teaching spaces and utility zones until the external perimeter of the existing building structure is reached.

Internally the extensive use of glass and strong colour accents to walls across the campus provides excellent transparency and visual connection between various users. Given the ‘maze-like’ floor plan and fully internalised nature, the challenge was to open the spaces up as much as possible and the use of fixed glazing achieves this very successfully.

The client wanted people to be able to see various activities easily and encourage visual drama and interaction. For example, the wall behind the café server features a long glass viewing panel into the commercial training kitchens, reinforcing the exposure of educational uses and connection across spaces. This feeling of openness and the dissolving of boundaries is assisted by the incorporation of natural light from a roof skylight, which provides a changing play of light across the interior landscape and provides excellent colour rendering of painted finishes.

NZMA Sylvia Park Campus

A play between light and dark stained plywood provides a strong contrast and differentiates main circulation spaces from café space and is used along with a deliberate change in painted wall colour finishes, which assists with navigation and serves to orient the user around the campus as well as providing strong colour definition between various spaces. Large high level fabric graphic wall banners take advantage of the open café zone and key the user into the hub of the organisation. These graphic images provide visual vibrancy and harmonise with the surrounding wall finishes while representing the client culture. Existing industrial building elements are exposed where possible and allow a layering with the more polished new interior finishes. This play of old and new was central to the design direction from day one.

NZMA Sylvia Park Campus

As with any successful interior it is the composition of chosen colours and materials and the relationship between them that defines complex spaces such as this. There is a balance between well considered finishes that make the design aesthetically successful and the practical need for durability. Carefully selected materials and colours reflect brand and building use.

Internally the extensive use of stained timber wall finishes and bold colours combined with the existing exposed building structure and the more refined new cabinetry and floor/wall/ceiling finishes provides a hardwearing interior with a fine balance of old and new materiality working together.

The innovation in design is mainly around the execution of change of use from industrial to tertiary educational use encompassing the accommodation of multiple spaces in such a way that the interior remains colourful, vibrant, inviting, open, easy to circulate and encourages transparency and connectivity across various teaching and recreational spaces while reflecting the client’s brand, ethos and functional requirements.

NZMA Sylvia Park Campus

The use of multiple colours was pivotal to the design of the campus and the aim was to create a lively non-institutional environment for the students and staff. Given the highly internalised and compartmentalised nature of the multiple spaces that had to be accommodated, it was clear that colour would play a fundamental role in providing an interesting and enjoyable interior environment as well as defining separate uses and themes across the campus.

Colours used across the campus are as follows:
Resene Black Rock is used in the entry and reception both on walls and on backpainted glass under the counter. NZMA felt that this colour provided a good fit with company brand colours. It also works well with Resene Half Mondo, also used in the reception area. The colours around entry and reception were aimed at brand presentation.

NZMA Sylvia Park Campus

The main circulation corridors feature Resene Kombi. This colour was chosen for its natural appeal and to harmonise with the clear finished timber surfaces, which were finished in Resene Aquaclear clear waterborne urethane and stained areas in Resene Colorwood Walnut. The café features Resene Monza, chosen to provide a red accent, which sets off the dark stained timber, concrete floors and links into the graphic banners, on cabinetry and backpainted glass.

The barista training room uses Resene Monza and Resene Sambuca to create a rich ‘coffee’ theme when combined with black bevelled tiles and stainless steel finishes.

The bar training room has a lively citrus feel with Resene Kombi and Resene Fireball combining successfully with tan leather seating.

The cookery classrooms have a very commercial industrial feel with stainless steel, gloss black and Resene Monza as a bold colour accent to the main spine wall. The space has a warm fieriness appropriate to the cooking activities within it. The red wall can be seen from various remote locations across the campus and has high visual impact.

Classrooms are internal quiet spaces. Most of the other spaces listed above are open and lively and have no ceilings. Classrooms combine Resene Akaroa, Resene Fuscous Grey and Resene Pravda to provide a more subdued focused environment for teaching and learning.

The building exterior uses Resene Hi-Glo in Resene House White and Resene Archive Grey to provide a light crispness to the old cladding and to provide contrast to the NZMA blue brand colours and signage. Resene CoolColour™ paint was used given potential issues with the existing cladding system.

On completion and to the design team’s delight, NZMA have expressed one of the main things that is particularly successful about the campus is the choice of colour used across the spaces.

Resene Black Rock
Resene Black Rock
Resene Half Mondo
Resene Half Mondo
Resene Kombi
Resene Kombi
Resene Walnut
Resene Walnut
Resene Monza
Resene Monza
Resene Sambuca
Resene Sambuca
Resene Fireball
Resene Fireball
Resene Akaroa
Resene Akaroa
Resene Fuscous Grey
Resene Fuscous Grey
Resene Pravda
Resene Pravda
Resene House White
Resene House White
Resene Archive Grey
Resene Archive Grey

Architectural specifier: Godward Designspace
Building and painting contractor: Brosnan Construction
Client: NZMA
Photographer: Won Hokim

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