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He Puna Taimoana

The Hot Pools at New Brighton

The colours were specifically chosen to represent various aspects of the project, which is generally based around a neutral/natural palette.

He Puna Taimoana, the hot pools at New Brighton, is a catalyst for the regeneration of Christchurch’s seaside village. It is a key component of the New Brighton Regeneration Project – a transformation of the village backed by the Christchurch City Council, Development Christchurch Limited (DCL), and the community. It is part of the $19.2 million development of the New Brighton foreshore, which includes the new beachside playground, and it signals the start of a positive transformation for New Brighton. After many years of decline, the development will support the goals of bringing life, activity and prosperity to the suburb.

He Puna Taimoana pools exterior

He Puna Taimoana occupies an area along Te Tai o Mahaanui (Selwyn-Banks Peninsula Coastal Marine Area), an area that has a strong cultural, spiritual, historic and traditional importance to Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāi Tahu. Specifically located in Ōruapaeroa/New Brighton, the Hot Pools will become a part of a landscape where the forces of nature are their strongest; where the land, ocean and winds collide.

Hot pools - pool deck

The coastal foreshore is an area where the tension between the forces of nature are most evident. The landscape of this in-between zone is the physical outcome of the pushing and pulling between ocean, land and wind. This zone is dynamic and is ever changing; sometimes this unpredictable nature creates an energy which has both a beauty and unease to it. The cultural design intent is to draw on this tension between forces and draw on the many traditional stories which teach us about the powerful nature of these forces and how they are constantly at play.

Hotpools - yelllow walls

Yellow reception area

The site provides a perfect opportunity to reference the tension and balance between Tane, god of the forest, and Tangaroa, god of the sea. The constant pushing and pulling between the two Atua is conceptualised by the location of the pools pushing into the dunes. This concept is further reinforced in the neighbouring playground, where the Waka pushes out towards the sea. The building forms also reference this sense of tension and balance, with roofs cracked and pushed, the lines blurred between roof and shade elements.

Yellow and grey changing rooms

The layout of the buildings and pools is also a direct response to the environment, with wind, sun and view shafts informing the scheme. Built forms are wrapped around the north of the development, to create a laminar wind buffer from the prevailing north-easterly. The site is terraced, responding to a conceptual idea of ‘hunkering down in the dunes’ (a story told at a community engagement workshop). Landscaping provides density to further break down the prevailing wind. The main building shelters the pools from the prevailing south-west winter wind, with the roof shape providing a lift to the wind to help push it up and over the interior spaces.

Yellow and white reception area

Hot Pools - walkway

The built forms are also responding to the surrounding environment, being as low impact at possible at their perimeters. This goes back to the ideas of ‘landscape forming building’ and laminar wind flow. With comprehensive landscape plans integrating the building into the land, the overall scheme beds well into the dune environment. Wind mitigation fences further enhance this idea by being irregular and playful, helping blur the lines again between built form and landscape.

Hot Pools

The development consists of four pools, sauna, steam room and an enclosed relaxation area. Associated spaces include plantroom, toilets and changing spaces, accessible changing spaces, staff facilities, reception/entrance and a café. The café is for paid hot pools patrons only, however it may sell coffee, ice-creams to the general public through a hole in the wall.

The material palette is simple and durable. The main structure is concrete block with exposed glulam beams. In some places the block is overlaid with timber battens to soften the walls. White tensile shade features will be up lit at night, made possible with coloured lighting to complement the pier lights.

Hot Pools - aerial view

Hot Pools - seating area

The colours were specifically chosen to represent various aspects of the project, which is generally based around a neutral/natural palette. The yellow Resene Galliano ties back to the representative colours of the suburb of New Brighton. The feature colours on the Western Fence were specifically chosen to represent the Pingao grasses planted in the dunes, as well as the Pacific Ocean both which play a large part in the cultural narrative.

The Western Fence is finished in Resene Surfie Green, Resene Tulip Tree and Resene White, while exterior concrete is finished in Resene Galliano, using a range of products from Resene Quick Dry primer and Resene Aquapel to Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss, Resene Lumbersider low sheen, Resene X-200 weathertight membrane, Resene Concrete Clear Gloss and Resene Uracryl 402 semi-gloss. The bolder hues are joined by Resene Pitch Black in the exterior lounge area and Resene Black on the interior Axon panel finished in Resene Uracryl GraffitiShield. Timber posts and exposed beams are finished in Wood-X Aspiring.

Interior doors and bathroom ceilings are finished in Resene Black White, using Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss and Resene SpaceCote Flat Kitchen & Bathroom respectively. The white palette continues with Resene Colorwood Whitewash in the lifeguard and first aid area.

Other products were specifically selected to protect building elements from the harsh coastal conditions.

The severe coastal environment for this project provided some challenges in durability and preparation of surfaces for paint coatings, the wind-blown sand and salt along with efflorescence on the concrete blocks became an issue for which Resene representatives were consulted with during the process to ensure appropriate coatings and preparation were used.

This project won the Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Colour Maestro Award. The judges said "judicious splashes of colour set the scene. Easy on the eye, hues of teal and yellow roll over from surf and sun to bring energy into this social space. Slatted materials add an extra textural dimension and create an illusion in the colour layers to read as a multi-toned woven vista. A masterful pairing of colour tone and treatment."

Architectural specifier: AW Architects
Architects – Collaboration and specification of western fence: Glasson Huxtable Landscape
Building contractor: Apollo Projects
Client: Development Christchurch Ltd
Development solutions and project management: Select Contracts
Photographer: Andrew Watson, Baptiste Marconnet
Winner: Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Colour Maestro Award
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2020

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