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Resene names its Maestros


2021’s Colour Maestros have been recognised for their innovative use of colour at the annual Resene awards ceremony


Auckland Council walked away with the Landscape Award for its Kopupaka Reserve Playground project, while DC Structures Studio and Brian Perry Civil won gold for the Wairoa River Bridge modification.


To be eligible, landscapers had to have completed a project with creative and excellent use of Resene paints and colour.


Auckland Council’s winning Kopupaka Reserve playground was built by HEB Construction and was also named the New Zealand Parks Award 2021 Playground of the Year.

It was designed to function as a ‘big Kiwi backyard’ and fill a gap in the play network of the area in preparation for the anticipated Westage community metropolitan centre development.


The playground includes two kick-a-ball areas, a picnic and BBQ area, waterplay, adult fitness area, free-play area and an open space network with walkways and riparian and revegetation planting.


Going back to its roots

Nina Rattray, Principal Landscape Architect at Auckland Council, said the colour choices made for the playground was a crucial element in the design process.


“The colour palette was inspired by the rural and horticultural history of the area, specifically the site’s historic use as strawberry fields and for food production. The colours across the green and red colour spectrums (Resene Soft Apple, Dingley, Clover, Green Leaf, Sundown, Roadster and Pohutukawa) take their hue from the strawberry during its various stages of ripening and its foliage. This colour palette was the key to satisfying the brief on all counts.”

The judging panel praised the design team’s use of colour.


“Colour has been used to activate and elevate this space for all to enjoy. The hues go beyond a predictable playground palette while still bringing together a colourful bouquet that is lively and inviting. With many elements touched by colour, it comes together in a subtle symphony of colour that dances gently from one structure to the next, defining each area without overwhelming it.”


Vibrant attraction


The Wairoa River Bridge project won its award for the vibrant installation of a 175m long cycleway clip-on that was added to the side of the existing road bridge.

Dan Crocker, director of architectural bridge engineering at DC Structures Studio, says the original proposal was for a grey steel pier system – but that was soon discarded when his team developed coloured steel trusses that were 50% lighter and almost 20% less expensive!


“The original concept presented to us for Wairoa River Bridge was for a clunky and industrial truss walkway in grey. First, we refined the overall structural form to add elegance, and then we worked with our stakeholders to incorporate bold colour to add vibrancy and fun.”


DC Structures Studio partnered with Eamon Stynes of Brian Perry Civil to produce a warren truss and pier truss solution that maximised bridge assets to improve walking and cycling in and around the Bay of Plenty region.


Colour choices were made to reflect a playful outcome that would create a destination and attract attention with a turquoise blue (Resene Guru).


The judges praised the project for ‘pushing the boundaries’ with its ‘bold’ colour choices.

“There’s more to this project than meets the eye. For a structure where grey would have been an easy default option, this bridge pushes the boundaries - going bold with colour, where so many have gone bland before it.”

Dan says that winning the award was a proud moment for the team.“We were blown away by the Judges’ comments commending our use of colour rather than the bog-standard grey often synonymous with bridges. Our project partners – particularly Council and Brian Perry Civil – actively supported our unorthodox colour selections, so receiving this award was a great boost for our team as it reinforces our overall design ethos that the public want – and deserve - vibrant, fun, and playful infrastructure that can be more easily enjoyed.”

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