The brief was to create a flexible learning environment and inject as much vibrancy and fun into the space as possible within the very limited project budget.
Dine@MIT is a licensed bar and restaurant built specifically for training Manukau Institute of Technology’s School of Culinary and Hospitality students. Dine is open to members of the public to enjoy a casual bistro-style lunch or an elegant three-course dinner in a warm and friendly environment. During the day it becomes the perfect destination for business meetings, working lunches, conferences or to catch up with friends and colleagues. At night the warm and relaxed atmosphere is ideal for functions, special occasions, family dinners, or special birthdays.
Humming with students and creativity each day, its tired interior no longer reflected the building’s function. The brief was to create a flexible learning environment and inject as much vibrancy and fun into the space as possible within the very limited project budget. To achieve the biggest impact, first and foremost, a new colour scheme was required. An array of twelve colours were specified and used throughout the student restaurant, bar, reception, toilets and corridors.
Texture was added to the space through the use of a large painted feature timber wall, made from recycled Beech wood. Each side face of the timber planks has been painstakingly painted a different colour in Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel, while the front face has been left as natural timber. When you look down the wall from one direction the wall displays an array of cool colours (Resene Escape, Resene Koru, Resene Karma, Resene Watercourse and Resene Blue Lagoon), when you look from the opposite direction a rainbow of warm colours (Resene Smitten, Resene Mandy, Resene Scarlet Gum and Resene Code Red) appears and when you look from front on the wall appears to be natural wood.
The finishing touches of the project consisted of several large custom curved booths, refurbishing the existing dining chairs, replacing a select few carpet tiles with brightly coloured triangles, cladding one side of the restaurant with black corrugated steel and a sprinkling of coloured cushions thrown about.
In the past tertiary educational facilities have tended to adopt formal and subtle colour schemes, and this 20 year old interior was no exception to the rule.
The staff members at the School of Culinary and Hospitality Studies, like their students, are a vivacious positive bunch, and wanted to see an interior that pushed the boundaries with colour and inspired their students to be creative – an interior that uplifts their spirits each and every day they come to work.
As you enter the building (through the reception area) the colour palette is modern but understated using the colours Resene Black White, Resene All Black and Resene Fuscous Grey in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen. However, through the glazed doors in the near distance, your eye is drawn to the large bold Resene Code Red feature walls. These walls mark the beginning of the corridor, and grab your attention, pulling you into the social hub of the building – the student restaurant.
It doesn’t stop at the restaurant. The colour continues to splash through the corridors with the use of bold feature walls and doors. Leading into the restaurant are corridor walls in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Fuscous Grey, Resene Blue Lagoon, Resene Code Red, Resene Koru, Resene Watercourse, Resene Karma and Resene Black White, with feature doors in Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel in Resene Koru, Resene Karma, Resene Watercourse, Resene Blue Lagoon and Resene Code Red.
One of the most talked about spaces is the toilet with its bright pink Resene Smitten and Resene Blue Lagoon doors.
As a School of Culinary and Hospitality Studies staff member summed it up…
“You should have seen the student’s faces when they arrived back here after the holidays, one boy just stood there with his mouth open and dropped his bag! Others came running into the restaurant with absolute amazement on their faces, it was so cool to see.”
Building contractor: MIT Facilities Management Building and Maintenance Team
Client: Manukau Institute of Technology
Colour selection: Hayley-Anne Brown, Lou Brown Design
Other key contributor – MIT project manager: Simon Judd
Painting contractor: Sharp Decoration Solutions
Photographer: Hayley-Anne Brown; Fraser Newman
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2015
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