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Resene Total Colour Awards 2021 winners announced

22 Nov 2021

In Resene’s 75th year, it seems fitting that the latest Resene Total Colour Awards have been a true celebration of all things colour. From neutral to bright, pastel to weathered, each winner’s palette is distinctively unique in hue – yet all share an excellence in colour selection.

It was captivating colour which beautifully complements its classical architecture that won Christchurch’s Public Trust Building the top colour award for 2021. The project was bestowed both the Resene Total Colour Master Nightingale Award, named after the Nightingale family who founded and still run Resene today, as well as the Resene Heritage Award. The project features Resene Blanc, Resene Half Beryl Green, Resene Jaguar, Resene Smoky Green, Resene Sanguine Brown and Resene Wan White – authentic selections which pay homage to the building’s rich history.

The Resene Total Colour Awards were launched to encourage and celebrate excellent and creative use of colour; to showcase striking colour palettes and combinations and provide fresh inspiration – and this year’s submissions did not disappoint. As so many projects have been delayed over the last 18 months, there was a pronounced shift to making the most of what already exists, with many older projects lovingly brought to life with painstaking attention to detail, care and fresh coats of new Resene colour. It did not go unnoticed by the judging panel, which included Sylvia Sandford (colour expert), John Walsh (previous editor of Architecture, architecture writer) and Laura Lynn Johnston (editor of BlackWhite magazine, previous editor of habitat magazine).

Congratulations to all the winners and runners up and heartfelt appreciation to all those who took the time to share their incredible work.

Resene Total Colour Master Nightingale Award and Heritage Award

Three Sixty Architecture

The Public Trust Building

Judges said: “A proud winner, this building has a captivating presence. The quality of the finishing, the colour palette and the architecture all fit perfectly and are just right. The colours bring out the calibre of the building and feel at one with the strength of the architecture. This project has been treated with years of dedicated effort and respect, holding onto and preserving history with a delightfully classical treatment.

“Very serene, beautiful and so distinguished, there is something indescribably magnetic about this building. The palette and project are perfectly paired – glorious, grand and together they combine as a fitting way to honour the work of one of Christchurch’s greatest architects. The colours emphasise the historical façade and features in an enduringly appropriate amalgamation.”


The Public Trust Building features Resene Blanc, Resene Half Beryl Green, Resene Jaguar, Resene Smoky Green, Resene Sanguine Brown and Resene Wan White. Image by Jason Mann.

Resene Total Colour Education Award

Bull O’Sullivan Architecture

Te Kōhanga Reo o Ngā Pihi o Te Purapura Pai

Judges said: “A warm welcome awaits. Colour is used strategically to highlight and draw attention, carefully placed in context and in consideration of sightlines to enhance the building. It’s a purposeful palette that brings together a unique colour combination to provide a distinctive and supportive environment for young minds to explore, flourish and create.”

Te Kōhanga Reo o Ngā Pihi o Te Purapura Pai features Resene Bird Flower, Resene Buttercup, Resene Dust Storm, Resene Endeavour, Resene Half Cut Glass, Resene Havoc, Resene Harvest Gold, Resene Lemon Ginger, Resene Marionette, Resene Opal, Resene Pohutukawa, Resene Poppy, Resene Soft Apple, Resene Tangerine, Resene Turkish Delight and Resene Turbo. Image by Patrick Reynolds.

Resene Total Colour Education Colour Maestro Award

Rachel Xu, Pacific Environments NZ Ltd

Huapai District School Block 2 Refurbishment

Judges said: “This project reinvents space using paint, colour and creative colour blocking to stretch the imagination and support school life. Carefully pairing colour with purpose, each hue helps to reinforce the use of each space. The staff area is a sanctuary wrapped in relaxing calm hues, a far cry from the invigorating fun colour in the creative maker space.”

Huapai District School Block 2 Refurbishment features Resene Alabaster, Resene Mother Nature, Resene Pohutukawa, Resene Spotlight and Resene Unwind. Images by Barry Tobin.

Resene Total Colour Rising Star Award

Belinda Burke

Colour, Hell of a Good Thing!

Judges said: “Decorative, beautiful, yet practical, this colour concept has been carefully thought through. The colour palette is anchored and persuasive, purposefully celebrating colour with detailed reasoning for its use, balanced with clear finishes. Filled with light and a bright energy, the palette draws on experiences of the past, capturing travel memories in a new application.”

Colour, Hell of a Good Thing! features Resene Happy, Resene Marionette, Resene Outrageous and Resene Aquaclear Natural. Image by Belinda Burke.

Resene Total Colour Rising Star Colour Maestro Award

Qun Zhang


Judges said: “As if merged with a heady daydream, the colours are viewed in a permeable way in context with the view that lies beyond. The palette wraps in the spirit of the landscape with a lightness and ethereality that truly delights the senses and feeds the soul in a gloriously uplifting way.”

Healing features Resene Aqua Squeeze, Resene Daredevil, Resene Envy, Resene Feijoa, Resene Half Smalt Blue, Resene Pumice, Resene Spanish Green and Resene Wild Thing. Image by Qun Zhang.

Resene Total Colour Residential Interior Award

Kate St James and Catherine Whitting, St James Whitting

Galleria Sanctum

Judges said: “Colour purposefully defines each space to imbue it with its own mood and personality. Careful consideration of sightlines from one room to the next takes you on a curated colour journey. The artwork and the colourways play off each other, providing a perfect environment in which the beauty of the artwork flourishes.”

Galleria Sanctum features Resene Alabaster, Resene Atomic, Resene Kudos, Resene Lusty, Resene Timekeeper and a custom-made colour. Image by Marian Riabic.

Resene Total Colour Residential Interior Colour Maestro Award

Shaw & Shaw Architects

College Street Apartment

Judges said: “Cosy but not closed in, this project achieves a lot in a small space, working mindfully with the age of the property to enhance each space while still being sympathetic to its era. With a focus on easy living, the colours come together into a sophisticated palette with memorable touches of colourful surprises.”

College Street Apartment features Resene Alabaster, Resene Blanched Pink, Resene Desert Yellow, Resene Emerald Green, Resene Pelorous, Resene Pitch Black and Resene Quarter Powder Blue.Images by Geordie Shaw.

Resene Total Colour Residential Exterior Award

Belinda Edmunds, hungerford + edmunds

Pymble House

Judges said: “This home has a well-defined personality with its strong horizontal features emphasised through accent colour. The hues are chosen thoughtfully and in sympathy with the environment linking together the public and private faces of this home, culminating in a creative riot of colour on the poolside mural for added frivolity and fun.”

Pymble House features Resene Adrenalin, Resene Bokara Grey, Resene Dauntless, Resene Dynamite, Resene Eighth Masala, Resene Half Resolution Blue, Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream, Resene Retro, Resene Spotlight and Resene Triple Masala. Image by Murray Fredericks.

Resene Total Colour Residential Exterior Colour Maestro Award

Barry Connor, Barry Connor Design

Skylark Cabin

Judges said: “Colours and materials are juxtaposed to accentuate their beauty. The dark wood stain cleverly plays off the rocky landscape while the burnt bold orange accents harness the smouldering heat of a volcano to frame features. It’s a colour-fuelled reminder to us all that colour brilliance is not just the colours you choose but how you choose to embrace them through the architecture.”

Skylark Cabin features Resene Pitch Black and Resene Vesuvius.Image by Dennis Radermacher.

Resene Total Colour Community Award

Burgess Treep & Knight Architects

Whare Koa Māngere Community House

Judges said: “Bringing the voices of many together, this is truly a happy place – where all ages and all cultures can mix and mingle in a vibrant environment. The colour draws attention to the age of the house then elevates and embraces it with a welcoming hug of hues, inviting in all. It’s brimming with love, pride, community and the warmest of warm fuzzies.”

Whare Koa Māngere Community House features Resene Adrenalin, Resene Alabaster, Resene Blue Chill, Resene Cobalt, Resene Colour Me Pink, Resene Envy, Resene Half Spanish White, Resene Kashmir, Resene Smitten and Resene Wild Thing. Image by Emilio Garcia.

Resene Total Colour Landscape Award

Nina Rattray and Claire Leisching of Auckland Council

Kopupaka Reserve Playground

Judges said: “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 that dances gently from one structure to the next defining each area without overwhelming it.”

Kopupaka Reserve Playground features Resene Banjul, Resene Clover, Resene Dingley, Resene Green Leaf, Resene Pohutukawa, Resene Roadster, Resene Shark, Resene Soft Apple and Resene Sundown. Image by Bryan Lowe, Auckland Council.

Resene Total Colour Landscape Colour Maestro Award

DC Structures Studio & Brian Perry Civil

Wairoa River Bridge

Judges said: “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. While navigating the requirements of multiple stakeholders, structural needs and the approval process, the palette provides a fluid connection between water and movement with a clear, distinctive personality from the roadway running alongside.”


Wairoa River Bridge features Resene Guru. Image by Dan Crocker.

Resene Total Colour Neutrals Award

RTA Studio and Irving Smith Architects

SCION Innovation Hub | Te Whare Nui o Tuteata

Judges said: “Strength in architecture and painstaking care has ensured no detail has been overlooked. The palette preserves and showcases the structure, with whitewash, clear finishes and neutrals allowing the timber elements to take centre stage. It’s a sophisticated integration of colour and architecture, with a continuity that connects each space and plays with light and movement.”

SCION Innovation Hub | Te Whare Nui o Tuteata features Resene Black, Resene Bokara Grey, Resene Rice Cake, Resene Rock Salt and Resene Aquaclear. Image by Patrick Reynolds.

Resene Total Colour Neutrals Colour Maestro Award

Lisa Day, Donnell Day Architects

Beachlands House

Judges said: “A lovely backdrop to beach life, the neutral colour palette works beautifully with this light-filled home, where the hue strength and tone have been adjusted to suit each space and view. It’s lyrical and melodious, encouraging your eyes to slowly meander over the space and enjoy how the colour interacts with the lighting, texture and the cast of shadowing from the panelling. A perfectly composed palette.”

Beachlands House features Resene Double Alabaster, Resene Duck Egg Blue, Resene Double Foundry, Resene Foggy Grey, Resene Foundry, Resene Half Ecru White, Resene Half Fuscous Grey and Resene Quarter Ecru White. Images by Jessica Gernat.

Resene Total Colour Installation - Experiential - Product Award

Anna Li and Topsy Steele, Boffa Miskell

Nohonga: Bioluminescence

Judges said: “Whether viewed from inside or out, the palette of this creatively imaginative nohonga harnesses the natural phenomenon of glowing luminously and irresistibly. The colour rhythmically ascends over the classical architectural framework, drawing you deeper into the spiral and encouraging you to sit, linger and enjoy being surrounded in the beauty. The work is graceful and dynamic, but still breathes.”


De la Milpa a la Mesa – A Mexican Food Journey features Resene Cherrywood, Resene Citron, Resene Duck Egg Blue, Resene Cleopatra, Resene Float, Resene Golden Glow, Resene Horses Neck, Resene Irresistible, Resene Jordy Blue, Resene Mexican Red, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Shark, Resene Smoulder, Resene Teak, Resene Untamed and Resene Wild Thing. Image courtesy of Victoria University of Wellington.

Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior Public + Retail Award

Brett and Hollis Giddens

gin gin – cocktail bar + eatery

Judges said: “Splashed inside and out in a cocktail of intoxicating colour, the palette entices you inside you with a tantalising taster of what lies within. The quality of the fitout is unquestionably top shelf. It makes the most of the architecture with a bold palette of colours carefully intertwined with each other for a daring sense of occasion.”

gin gin features Resene Madison, Resene My Pink, Resene Permanent Green and Resene Shilo. Image by Sarah Rowlands. 

Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior Public + Retail Colour Maestro Award

Steve Rosling, Element17

Waffle Haus

Judges said: “Yum! Tantalising and tasty, the fun placement of these colours gives a sense that this building is literally drizzled with colour, oozing chocolate from tip to toe. The colour is ever so carefully wrapped over all spaces, with pipes and rails that are reminiscent of striped paper straws. It’s a totally delicious escape from reality.”

Waffle Haus features Resene Brown Pod, Resene Niagara and Resene Riptide. Image by Steve Rosling / Element17.

Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Award

Shand Shelton

Cricket Museum Stand Restrengthening

Judges said: “Handsome and distinguished, this entirely appropriate colour palette showcases the architecture of the building. With so much physical ornamentation the colour has been used judiciously to subtly highlight the details, so you appreciate it in its totality. The lighter palette is entirely appropriate for a summer-focused game and a desirable calming force in the midst of busy city life.”

The Cricket Museum Stand Restrengthening features Resene Barista, Resene Bedrock, Resene Double Blanc, Resene Eighth Joss, Resene Half Blanc, Resene Half Joss, Resene Hinau, Resene Hukanui, Resene Lattitude, Resene Nocturnal, Resene Taupe Grey, Resene Woodsmoke, Resene Aquaclear, Resene FX Paint Effects and Resene FX Pearl Shimmer. Image by Woolf Photography / Mike Haydon.

Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Colour Maestro Award

Will Cooke

As One Door Closes, Another Opens

Judges said: “This explosion of colour brightens up and demands attention of a once white space. The clever large-scale design is perfect to appreciate when viewed at a distance, while the ‘doors’ welcome you in and invite you to look a little closer. It’s vibrant, unexpected and just the colour needed to brighten each day.”

As One Door Closes, Another Opens features Resene Charlotte, Resene Confederate Grey, Resene Cupid, Glamour Puss, Resene Glorious, Resene Happy, Resene Half Spray, Resene Hit Pink, Resene Melanie, Resene Smitten, Resene Scrumptious, Resene Southern Cross, Resene Supernova, Resene Tropical Blue, Resene Twilight and Resene Wewak. Image by Will Cooke.

Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior Office Award

Clark Pritchard, StudioPritchard

New Zealand Bus Head Office & Operations Centre

Judges said: “A home away from home, this office space brings the comfortable feel of working from home into a supportive environment for staff to enjoy their workdays. Colour supports the office design with sympathetic and mindful colours that transition with ease from one space to the next. The hand-painted mural delves into the detail, cleverly celebrating the company’s key role and pride in keeping the city moving.

New Zealand Bus Head Office & Operations Centre features Resene Apple Blossom, Resene Cutty Sark, Resene Eighth Sea Fog, Resene Space Cadet, Resene Triple Concrete, Resene Unwind, Resene Aquaclear Natural and a range of Resene testpot colours. Image by David Straight.

Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior Office Colour Maestro Award

Daniel Sullivan, Common Ltd, with Jenna Ingram

Cosmic Corner Headquarters

Judges said: “Joyful and creative, the colour selection and placement feel true to the brand’s energy and vibrancy. It plays on the psychology of colour, cleverly using energetic colour in the meeting room to spark ideas and encourage energy moving through to more restrained choices in chill out areas. This colour palette completely brings this office space to life.”

Cosmic Corner Headquarters features Resene Awash, Resene Casal, Resene Green Meets Blue, Resene Half Turbo, Resene Pitch Black, Resene Quarter Tapa, Resene Rouge, Resene Shadowy Blue and Resene Wan White. Image by Sarah Rowlands.

Resene Total Colour Heritage Colour Maestro Award

Annie Simpson King, Simpson King Design

Grand Casino Dunedin

Judges said: “This project was designed to bring back the ‘wow’ and bring back the ‘wow’ it has. The sumptuous colour palette and metallic hues play to the decadence and opulence of a grand night out. Richly layered, it's a testament to the passionate purpose to recapture and enhance this grand building’s beauty to appeal to the guests of today.”

Grand Casino Dunedin features Resene Alabaster, Resene Gold, Resene Gold Dust, Resene Half Tea, Resene Pure Pewter and Resene Tea. Image by Nourished Studio.

Resene Total Colour Heritage Colour Maestro Award

Keri Mason and Raewyn Dailey

Napier Antique & Jewellery Centre

Judges said: “In true Art Deco style, this palette emphasises the beauty of the building’s design period with authentic colour choices. Details are ever so carefully highlighted with painted colour contrasts. The depth and tonality of the colours are balanced beautifully drawing admiring attention to this corner site. It’s a joy to see it detailed so well.”

Napier Antique & Jewellery Centre features Resene Cape Cod, Resene Sea Fog, Resene Shilo, Resene Tiara and Resene Tiber. Image by Keri Mason / Raewyn Dailey.


Selected projects are featured in the upcoming issue of BlackWhite magazine, which will be arriving in mailboxes over the next few weeks.

Keep an eye out for the call for entries announcement for the Resene Total Colour Awards in 2022 for your chance to win. 

For details on all of the Resene Total Colour Award winners, both past and present, visit

Published: 22 Nov 2021