From the Resene Total Colour Awards gallery — 1168 Amohia Street, Rotorua
Our intention was also to place the building culturally and historically, except a more literal interpretation.
This building’s exterior solution, while appearing simple, involved understanding a complex range of issues. Firstly, the owners required a presentable corporate face; secondly, the Rotorua CBD Urban Design Guide was quite prescriptive about how buildings should appear and the colours used.
Our intention was also to place the building culturally and historically, except a more literal interpretation. This concept took considerable energy to convince authorities that the building would be more pertinent to Rotorua culture and history than any other new addition to the CBD (taupe colours with terracotta roofs appear to be the current acceptable default).
An informal conversation with clients revealed the connection of the triangular logo as a depiction of Mokoia Island. Their existing office had occupied a site for more than 25 years, which overlooked the lake and Island. These concept drivers developed further into a glass veil with a pixelated image of Mokoia Island.
This encapsulated the idea where a passer-by might at close encounter wonder what the image represented, but with an explanation or when viewed from a distance it would become apparent.
Like a photo album captures a memory of the past, the building becomes an album for the client to take a memory of their past location. The rhythm of the existing vertical pillars combined with the graphic veil offer an array of depth and shading, constantly shifting in differing light and view angles. This approach also retains a softened version of the original architecture, preserving 40 years of history in it.
While the deeper architectural concept focused on the image printed onto the glass veil, the external colour scheme relied more on the subtleties of light, shadows, perception of depth and reflection. The existing concrete is painted a soft grey, a background to the blue of the image pixels and capturing strong shadows. The only breakouts of colour are the deep blue, marking the entry, the black joinery, marking new insertions to old and the green, a service platform, reference to the green of Mokoia Island.
The significance of the connection between Mokoia Island and client is recounted in the interior concept. The most famous and recognisable story of Mokoia Island is one of the Maori love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai. Starting with the entry gallery, a large-scale photograph of Mokoia Island is installed behind the reception. The journey from the front doors to the reception emulates the crossing of Lake Rotorua to Mokoia Island, as Hinemoa once did.
The flooring tiles and ceiling lighting panels are a metaphor for the water and sky. The organically sculptured reception counter is modeled on the gourd flotation device used by Hinemoa. The remainder of the interior aesthetic is a modern take of the traditional dark wood paneled accountant offices of the past. Regal with a contemporary twist, with a rich diversity on texture, colour and forms. The photograph, using predominantly blues and splashes of greens, inspires colour.
Products used: Resene decorative paints.
Architectural Specifier: Darryl Church
Building Contractor: Graham Barry Builders Ltd
Colour Selection: Darryl Church
Interior Designer: Darryl Church
Painting Contractor: GMR Holmac
Photographer: David Blake
The Resene Total Colour Awards celebrate and encourage creative use of colour. For colour and decorating inspiration, browse through the hundreds of projects submitted...