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September 2012

Colourful Bridge wins the Resene Total Colour Awards 2012

Resene has a long history of colour with colours like Resene Spanish White and Resene Pearl Lusta created over three decades ago still continuing to be top choices for decorators today.  With thousands of colours available, the key is not just choosing the right one but putting it together with complementary colours and accents to bring the colour palette to life.  The Resene Total Colour Awards were launched to encourage and celebrate excellent and creative use of colour.

The Resene Total Colour Master Nightingale Award, named after the Nightingale family who founded and still run Resene today, recognises excellence in colour and paint use, and was awarded to Architectus for the Clark Street Overbridge. They also won the Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Award.

Opened in 2011, the Clark Street extension over bridge connects Clark Street to Great North Road over the western line rail corridor, providing a bypass route around New Lynn and creating the opportunity for the recently completed ‘shared space’ on Totara Avenue West to re-establish itself as the pedestrian and commercial focal point of the town centre. The bridge provides a pedestrian link between Great North Road and Gardiner Reserve on opposite sides of the rail corridor and occupies a prominent site adjacent to the town centre.

The project is part of a wider infrastructural and roading upgrade of New Lynn triggered by the trenching of the New Lynn rail station and Transit Orientated Development (TOD) projects. Architectus have been the lead landscape architects and urban designers for these New Lynn streetscapes projects for Auckland Transport (formerly Waitakere City Council) since 2007.

The 300 metre long bridge includes a rhythmic sequence of coloured steel fins which prevent access to the electrified rail lines below and provide a visual screen to adjacent residences. More importantly they transform an otherwise utilitarian and familiar roading structure into an energising urban intervention and civic landmark.

Three Resene reds – Resene Roadster, Resene Monza and Resene Livewire - were selected as reference to the sites historical association with clay brick production, Waitakere Ranges sunsets and to celebrate movement... with a cheeky nod to the western suburb’s love of speed and fast cars.  A durable Resene Engineered Coating System of Resene Armourcote 220 and Resene Uracryl 403 will help to ensure the colours withstand the harsh environment.

The choice of three complementary reds provides visual complexity and a subtle rhythm, which enables the bridge to be experienced at both the urban and personal scales.

The coloured fins provide a bold contrast with the neutral concrete palette of the main bridge structure and the rich and vibrant greens of the adjacent existing and associated landscaping. Plant species were selected to provide a ‘green on green’ palette with texture and forms that complement the bridge design.

Rhythmical in reds, the continuity in this project is delightful.  It is almost like an art installation. It’s a brave decision to choose three reds that are so close together rather than keep them all the same or opt for more contrast.  The similarity of the reds provides subtle movement.  The light and shadow, it moves you on. It’s energising and it is very appropriate. Brilliantly strong, the strength is in the rhythm and subtle changes of colour.

The judges were excited about the colour use because it was surprising and expected to turn a utilitarian commercial road bridge into such a fantastic urban sculpture.  It’s a bold palette of similar hues, yet the decision to choose this palette required utter confidence. The whole community can embrace it, it’s something that reaches out and is shared by many with far reaching appeal and identification.

View images of the Resene Total Colour Award winners on the Resene website, and in video form on the EBOSS website.

Architectural Specifier: Architectus

Building Contractor: Dempsey Wood

Painting Contractor: DC Weld

Photographer: Claire Hamilton

View more information on Resene, including contact details.
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