Not-so-dull accountancy firm takes out top colour award

Not-so-dull accountancy firm takes out top colour award

Who said accountants were dull? A striking accountant’s office has been awarded top honours in the Resene Total Colour Awards announced in Auckland On Thursday evening, quashing the myth that accountancy offices are dull and boring. The Resene Total Colour Master - Nightingale Award was awarded to Paul Leuschke of Leuschke Kahn Architects Ltd for Grant Thornton Auckland.

Taking the cue from the dark stained timber floor, the art wall - extending 30 metres and encompassing two floors and the stairwell - is a rich mix of browns, yellows, oranges and reds. The art wall, with its numeral graphics, is both surprising and memorable.

The open plan staff areas are more subdued in colour use and have a white/grey theme with a hit of Resene Party Animal to break the monotony

This is a project where decorating becomes an art form. The colour palette creates a great mood with the treatment of the colours from the entry to the offices. 

Over 140 entries for the awards were received, with awards distributed across nine categories, as follows: 

Resene Total Colour Residential Exterior Award

Sam Kebbell, from KebbellDaish Architects of Wellington, was announced the Resene Total Colour Residential Exterior winner for Adsett House.

This project is a dialogue between artist and architect: art and architecture; figure and ground; foreground and background. This is achieved partly through spatial and formal tactics that make the distinction between art and architecture ambiguous. Colour forms a critical role.  Dark battens recede into the light wall, the light stripe between structural columns merges with the wall behind, and shadows of the structural columns to the front of the house are confused with dark lines on the same wall.

A Resene Total Colour Residential Exterior Maestro Award, recognising excellence of colour use, was awarded to Darryl Church from Darryl Church Architecture Ltd of Rotorua, for the Buchanan Residence Alterations.

The Buchanan Residence integrates old and new with ease. Near the entry, a clever patchwork of colours subtly leads you inside, while also being reflective of the surrounding landscape. The external colour scheme had to deliver on many levels. For one, it needed to be respectful of the surrounding lake setting and landscape when viewed from the lake. Up close, it had to offer a rich diversity of colour and texture. Because the driveway descends on the house above the roof-line, it also needed to be presentable when viewed from above. The client’s dislike of blue led to green and brown cues taken from the surrounding lake-scape, used for the feature cladding near the entry.


Resene Total Colour Residential Interior Award

Tushka Glintmeyer, from Space Architecture Studio, won the Resene Total Colour Residential Interior Award for the Kawau residence in Kapiti. 

The layout and light colour scheme encourage a relaxed lifestyle while exploiting an excellent quality of natural light and views to Kapiti Island. The colour palette used in this project is highly competent and shows that not everything has to be surprising. As a nation we use a lot of neutrals in our houses as they are easy to live with, and this project demonstrates how neutrals can be combined successfully with elements of interest and strength.

The Resene Total Colour Residential Interior Maestro Award was won by Hayley Whitehead from N & Co Architecture for the Strathmore Residence project in Wellington.

Renovations for this kitchen came straight from the influences of Piet Mondrian’s renowned block-colour artworks. In keeping with the Art Deco style of the original house, this kitchen has blended effortlessly with the existing detailing and the client’s vibrant Deco furnishings. The simple linear shapes and staggered block-colour arrangements were the perfect canvas for painting bold and stylish colours. In collaboration with the client, the final colours and their arrangement were key decisions aided by 3D CAD images and colour swatches and testpots. A unique, clever palette of colours, mixed and matched with care for an original styled effect. 

Resene Total Colour Product Colour Award


Bucking the trend towards bright and bold plastic toys, the Resene Total Colour Product Award winner, Tim Nicol of Wooden Toys of Kapiti, has created rugged wooden toys finished in a range of brightly coloured paints. 

Colour market research has revealed that the use of varied colour schemes is important. Although adults appreciate the look and feel of polished wood, children prefer brightly coloured items. Admiration is given to the love and attention that has gone into this product, which has a charming naivety and sense of nostalgia.


Resene Total Colour Rising Star Student Award

Renee Holtom of Auckland won the Resene Total Colour Rising Star Award with the Aotearoa Housing project, a student design proposal for an affordable housing option. 

The project is aimed towards providing a higher standard of living for Maori. It is envisaged that this will be built in transportable units that can be built and then transported or shipped to the site.  This design is a three bedroom residence comprising of two separate pavilions that are connected by a boardwalk style decking. This allows the user to separate living and bedroom areas.  Three colour schemes are proposed to give people choice and the opportunity to personalise their home. The vibrant use of colour gives the users a clean, fresh environment. 

Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Award

A collaboration between Paul Kerr-Hislop of Art + Architecture and Gus Watt of Watt Architects received the Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Award for striking colour use on the Quattro Maison Apartments in Wellington

A tight budget stripped the original scheme of roof gardens, trees and vines but this was countered by an adventurous colour scheme. It’s a bold use of colour on a highly visible site makes the building memorable and lifts a rather drab streetscape. The balanced colour intensities define the best line of the rectangular forms while personalising and identifying the nature of the structure. 

The clever positioning of the palette of neutral hues on the Cashmere Primary School Epicentre won Tania Gorton Design a Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Maestro Award.


The design lent itself to creating enhanced visual appeal, especially on the West and South sides. A checkerboard effect with negative detailing was created, allowing the front of the building to be determined. This was repeated on the West side in a simpler version. To add flow the checkerboard effect was repeated inside the building providing continuity.  The colour enhances the architecture; a superb application of a predominately neutral palette.

The Bunkhouse Goat Island by Cheshire Architects combines wood stains with bold hues and won a Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Maestro Award. 

Cheap Pinus Radiata boards – stained with Resene Woodsman Natural are exposed to both the interior and exterior. The soft-staining effect will promote a graceful period of slow, controlled aging as the building settles into its site. Behind the cavity, the Shadowclad ply-lining is stained a quiet Resene Woodsman Smokey Ash to tie it carefully to the block base. This quiet, soft base-palette is counter pointed by vivid colour that awakens the world within the timber box.  While on one level it may be odd to follow an avian-inspired scheme in the grounds of a marine reserve, on another it seems wholly appropriate to offer warm and vivid hues to those who regularly dwell in deep blue. This project is tasteful, very cleverly put together; lively without being obvious. 

Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior Award

The Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior Award was won by Paul Leuschke of Leuschke Group Architects, who also took out top overall honours with the Resene Total Colour Master – Nightingale Award.

Xsite Architects were awarded a Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior Maestro Award for the Hynds Group Headquarters renovation.

Natural materials such as clear finished and stained rough sawn ply enable the materials to be detailed with little fuss. They create a contrast to the glass reinforced concrete elements and resonate with the Hynds Group business philosophy of honest, straightforward, no-nonsense “what you see is what you get” service and solutions.  

The second Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior Maestro Award was awarded to John Mills Architects Ltd for the Southern Cross garden bar and restaurant.  

This work involved the re-configuration of an existing function room and bar space. The space was re-organised to better relate to the main bar and garden spaces. Materials, construction details, and colours are reminiscent of the classic New Zealand caravan. The random nature of the colour scheme actually works, and works especially well with an intriguing application of other materials.

Resene Total Colour Display Award

The colourful Whanganui Regional Museum Colour Exhibition was awarded the Resene Total Colour Display Award.

The Whanganui Regional Museum explored the six photoelectric colours; black, red, blue, yellow, green and white. Visitors move through six discrete spaces, each with walls painted one of those colours. The effect of creating the coloured rooms is two-fold. The colour emphasises the relationships between the artworks and artefacts, and also their relationships with the colour.  Each space also affects the visitor. The emotional impact of being in the ‘red room’ is very different to that in the ‘blue room’. The journey through each of the coloured areas provides each visitor with an opportunity to not only engage with a variety of artworks and artefacts, but also to examine their own emotional responses to the immersive experience of colour.  

Resene Total Colour Sustainable System Award

With a focus on sustainable systems, including Environmental Choice approved paints, Stephenson & Turner took out the Resene Total Colour Sustainable System Award for the MAF Multipurpose Building in Wellington.

The five star Green Star MAF multipurpose building is a place of reception, gathering and collaboration for the National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease. The brief called for a combination of paint and other materials and the two have been melded together very sympathetically.  Instead of taking the same material and applying the same colour, as so many people do, the different architectural aspects of the two sides of the building have been translated with colour.

Resene Total Colour Landscape Award

The interplay between the warm alluring waters of the Polynesian Spa and the careful paint colour selection, won Chris Stone of Rotorua the Resene Total Colour Landscape Award. 

The buildings and landscape of the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua rest on an active thermal site providing one of the harshest environments possible for building materials. Gas membranes are situated below most construction and under the Lake Spa bush gardens. Paint colours are sympathetic and appropriately thermal in nature.  The colour scheme makes the water feel soft.

Resene Total Colour Lifetime Achievement Award

The Resene Total Colour Lifetime Achievement Award recognies a person in the architecture and design industry who has shown dedication to innovative and excellent colour use in their work. This year it was awarded to Paris Magdalinos, 

Paris Magdalinos arrived in New Zealand as a young refugee and left school when he was 14. Through his own drive and talent, he became one of New Zealand’s leading architects. He is colourful and flamboyant in both his personality and his architecture, and runs a Napier-based practice. 

Epitomised by strong images, forms, colours and shapes – his practice fervently believes in John Ruskin’s words that “all architecture proposes an effect on the human mind, not merely a service to the human frame”.  He uses colour to both articulate forms and inject an essential humanity and personality to the architecture.  His vision continues to live on in the architectural firm he founded.

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