Kaynemaile creating visual landmarks out of mesh

It’s been a slow burn for Wellington-based business Kaynemaile, but with a few big-name clients on board, the company is ready to take over the architecture world.

Kaynemaile founder Kayne Horsham has spent years refining his business and product, a type of seamless mesh.  

The circumstances that led to the creation of his material are well known. Horsham was an artistic director for The Lord of the Rings, and was tasked with making costumes with chain mail. The material he came up with is now an award-winning architectural mesh, used in buildings and art around the world.

Kaynemaile is a polycarbonate mesh manufactured in Petone that uses injection moulding to make large sheets of interlocked rings. The company’s latest collaboration, with Scentre Group, is the façade of the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre in the Gold Coast. Scentre Group, the company that operates Westfield Shopping Centres, is managing the redevelopment of Pacific Fair Shopping Centre for owner AMP Capital.

The façade runs the length of the centre’s 6500-space car park. It is made up of 10 million 28 mm polycarbonate rings. Working with such a big company was a big win for the small business. Horsham employs 10 staff member and also utilises contractors.

The process was a quick turn around.

Kaynemaile came on board late in the design process and only had five weeks to come up with a concept that would usually take a year. “We had a pretty good idea of where we wanted to steer the design,” Horsham says.

Creating the design and product took effort. Kaynemaile called upon a lot of local networks in Petone who worked through Christmas to turn it around. “It was almost like a major film project. The result is that everyone’s happy.”

Business is really taking off for Kaynemaile, but it’s taken years to find the right market and really make a name in it. In the early stages of the business, a lot of emphasis was put on the visual benefits of the product.

After the global financial crisis, the company was changed tack. “We’re creative at heart but we know our market is looking for function and we learned that having something that’s decorative is the first element to get knocked out when the budget’s reviewed," he says. “That one directional change has turned the business around.”

The primary part of the business is now in the architectural market, with the odd-film production job in the books. 

Kaynemaile has been used in buildings by big brand names such LinkedIn, MasterCard, MGM Casinos, Sofitel and Shangri-la hotels and Samsung. As a small business in New Zealand, working with big companies gives the product the integrity it needs to go forward. “Once you get a few projects with those sorts of brands you become an approved material that architects want to work with.”

One of the main areas Kaynemaile is focusing its business on are car-parking buildings, as cities in Australia and the US tighten city beautification guidelines. Horsham said it was a growth area. “A material like ours is cost-effective and it also allows certain levels of privacy and air flow so it works well in utility spaces.”

Another key area for Kaynemaile is large-scale fall protection schemes, because the product is so strong and has the ability to cover long distances in one piece.

Horsham is proud that his product is New Zealand-made and utilises a number of New Zealand businesses. He says the New Zealand “brand” has been a big part of the company’s success overseas.

“New Zealand’s brand value has never been better, people want a piece of it.”