Design Federation brings home a second Resene colour award for Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony

Design Federation were thrilled to receive national recognition for their colour palettes two years in a row by winning the Resene Maestro Award for their work on the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. Meghan Nockles, Stylist, represented the organisation at their annual awards ceremony in Auckland and was presented with the Commercial Interior Public and Retail Maestro Award in front of over 500 industry representatives.

The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony went through a refurbishment in 2017 with Design Federation developing a day tour experience to complement the activity in the colony. Design Federation were engaged at designer of the new spaces which include a theatre, display areas and activity zone. 

The judges citation said the project was delightfully authentic, wrapped top to toe in penguin friendly hues. The palette is inspired by the sea, captured through extensive underwater exploration and photography, and penguin plumage.  The palette truly reflects the colours penguins would see daily in their natural habitat and brings this above sea level for visitors to enjoy.

Annabel Berry, Director said it was an honour to receive the award and be recognised at this level. For us it solidifies that we are delivering high quality designs for our clients that are of a national standard. Colour cues were taken from the local environment and the penguins themselves.

Design Federation also won the Commercial Public and Retail trophy for their work at Whitestone City in 2017.

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Design Federation Director Annabel Berry is thrilled to have received national recognition for the design agency’s work on the Whitestone City project in Oamaru. 

Mrs Berry was presented with the Commercial Interior Public and Retail trophy at the Resene Total Colour Awards in Auckland, attended by 500 industry representatives. 

Whitestone City, the $600,000 Victorian-themed Tourism Waitaki and Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust project, opened in May. 

Oamaru-based Design Federation was engaged as the head designer and project management team to bring together the heritage and stories of North Otago into a live interactive experience based in the town’s historic precinct. 

The citation said an extensive palette of colours was "carefully wrapped" into the project to celebrate antiquity and support the story telling of history. 

"The colour palette brings a richness to the exhibition that couldn’t have been achieved with duller antique shades. 

"With such a wide colour range, it would be easy for the elements to compete, but instead they all come together supporting each other, gently evolving as you move through," it said. 

Mrs Berry said it was an honour to receive the award. As well as promoting Design Federation on the national stage, it was also promoting the Whitestone City project and Oamaru nationally. 

In terms of creativity, it was the biggest project Design Federation had embarked on. The development stage was over two and a-half years, while implementation took nine months. 

Colour cues were taken from the environment and the history of North Otago and interpreted in a new way. For each space, research was done to establish what colour was most appropriate in that space, she said.