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The Kiwis behind revitalising Wellington’s St James Theatre win big at Dulux Colour Awards

Wellington design studio, Shand Shelton has won the Grand Prix Award at the Dulux Colour Awards for its use of colour to revitalise the heritage St James Theatre in Wellington.

The annual Dulux Colour Awards recognise designers and their projects and how they used colour exceptionally.

“Colour is universal, but it means different things to different people. This year’s suite of award winners epitomises the capacity for colour to transform spaces and elicit emotion in everybody,” says Dulux Colour Specialist, Davina Harper.

Dulux acknowledges that the work of Shand Shelton is a true “testament to the power of colour to enrich and enliven”.

The heritage building with over a hundred years of history reopened in 2022 after three years of strengthening the iconic building.

In 2015, St James Theatre was found to be earthquake-prone which began the discussions and plans to strengthen the building.

Read more: Basement Theatre: Auckland’s living icon for arts and culture

The reopening in mid-2022 showcased the work of Shand Shelton who took on the daunting task to revitalise a heritage building.

“The architects have embraced the challenge, specifying a complex palette, inspired by early drawings of the heritage-listed building,” says the judges of the awards.

“Prioritising an investment in artisans to execute the intricate colour scheme has paid off for this attention to detail has achieved optimal authenticity and light balance for theatre conditions.”

The judges add that the Shand Shelton’s use of neutral colour touches have enhanced the plasterwork.

“It is an impressive display of colour conceptualisation and workmanship,” says the judges.

Shand Shelton’s work for Wellington’s St James Theatre also received a commendation in the Commercial Interior – Public and Hospitality Category.

Alongside Shand Shelton, Christchurch studio Fabric from NZ won the Single Residential Exterior and Victoria student Augustina Binyamin won the Student Category.

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Review overview