From the Resene Total Colour Awards gallery of entries
The existing hotel had ‘evolved’ over a period of time, with different blocks being built in the 50s, 80s and 90s. The Hotel entry, reception, dining, bar and lounge areas all required reconfiguration, to create a stronger impact and better flow. These were then linked into refurbished conference, gym, outdoor, pool and landscaped areas, together with the upgraded guest rooms and circulation routes.
Naumi Hotel, Auckland Airport is an existing hotel which was the Grand Chancellor Hotel, Auckland Airport. Material Creative & Ellery Muir were employed to carry out the restoration and architectural and interior design of the hotel, from the outside in, the main common spaces (bar, lobby, reception, dining lounge, buffet) through to the hallways, conference rooms, bedrooms and gym (and the addition of a lift, new curtain wall and extensive services additions).
This has been a labour of love for all involved since 2014. The hotel was run down and hadn’t been well maintained. There was a lot of physical and practical maintenance and planning that needed to be taken into account before the interiors even began.
The brief from Naumi Hotels was to create a unique and distinctively New Zealand boutique hotel that encompassed the ideals of the Naumi brand: playful, unexpected, sexy, youthful and considered. They wanted to create a hotel like no other in the New Zealand market - a truly exhilarating experience and a feast for all the senses.
Material Creative took inspiration from the Tui; a uniquely native bird to New Zealand found on all three Islands. They are the first in the dawn chorus, last at dusk, and often singing during the day while other birds are silent. Their beautiful melodies can be heard long before they are seen. They have entered our national consciousness like no other New Zealand bird, not even the Kiwi, whom we rarely see, has captured our attention like the Tui.
Tui may seem like quite an ordinary black colour when seen from a distance, but in the daylight they are an array of shimmering and stunning metallic greens with blue, purple and bronze accents. Behind their neck is a lacy array of filament–like feathers, while the throat sports white feather tufts, all of which completes a very unusual and brilliant display. Their sleek black legs complement their curved black bill, and when in flight their wings show a brilliant white flash underneath.
In the conceptual thinking behind the interior design, it was proposed to use these visual features and the character makeup of the Tui as inspiration for the colour, material and textural palette. The striking bird boasts rich deep colours, and just as they form a gradient of colour from the top of the bird to the bottom, we used this as a progressive gradient of colour from the entry through to each individual room.
Your first impression of the reception, communal spaces, restaurant and bar is made up of emerald greens, jewel like blues and purple / magenta splashes. Gold features in feathered accents from the layered gold leaf canvas 'feathers' behind the reception desks to circular gold disks and lighting to highlight and offset the beauty of the deep colours.
Progressing down the hallways throughout the hotel, the colours are monochromatic like the outside features of the Tui, using graphic arrows in black, greys and white, with colour pops to the carpet for wayfinding. On entering the rooms, the colour and energy of the Tui greets you with a melodious palette that brings joy to the room.
In the lobby the ceiling is painted in Resene Celestial Blue, while the lounge ceiling has an equally strong colour with Resene Kermadec. Walls in these areas are custom tinted by Resene, with a chalkboard wall in the buffet area in Resene Black. The dining room and bar/dining walls are Resene Paradise.
Most interior paintwork is in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen.
Textures with subtle patterns taken from the lacy array of filament–like feathers is a motif used throughout the hotel, from the timber shingles in the lounge and bedroom bedheads, gold feathers on the reception wall, the gold feather disk artwork on the celestial blue wall in the bar, the feather like tiles in the bathrooms and the crisscross mouldings on the dining room wall and bedroom wardrobes.
The array of colours in the hotel nod to the playfulness and cheekiness of the Tui – bright and joyful. This is present as a hint in all of the spaces, leading your eye throughout the hotel.
Old buildings have their trials, Naumi had many. Including; the internal re-build of the guest room bathrooms and services ducts, re-roofing, new services, up-graded fire rating, and having to re-build the double height glazed front of the hotel. All carried out and staged while the hotel continued trading (it being no mean feat!).
All the bedroom rugs have been designed from four artworks commissioned by Belynda Henry – an Australian landscape artist. She painted four New Zealand landscapes and interpreted them into rugs which sit within the four differently coloured bedroom types. The colours of the walls within the four bedroom types all derive from the specific rug/painting for that room.
The bathrooms have coloured grout (four different colours for the different room types) – these are a feature within the bathrooms, and add a touch of whimsy.
The client from the beginning didn’t want any white throughout. So that boldness led to a journey to create something wonderful, albeit being a challenge to weave together so many jewel colours into one space!
Architectural specifier: Ellery Muir
Building contractor: CBC Construction
Client: Hind Group
Colour selection: Ellery Muir, Material Creative
Painting contractor: FSB
Photographer: Michelle Weir
Other key contributor – art: Ny Art Dept
Other key contributor - carpet: Inzide Commercial
Other key contributor - curtains: James Dunlop
Other key contributor - joiner: Gartshores
Other key contributor – project manager: Xigo
Other key contributor - rugs: Designer Rugs