Hundertwasser Art Centre
- 2022 Silver Qualmark Sustainable Tourism Business Award
The celebrated new Hundertwasser Art Centre in Whangarei is a showcase of the Austrian artist’s uniquely organic work. Friedensreich Hundertwasser famously refused to use straight lines in his art and architecture because ‘there are no straight lines in nature’.
Using colour and shape in unexpected ways, HB Architecture extended this thesis to the layout and colour selection of the EverTread Entry Matting to help achieve the vision for the Art Centre.
The artist’s unconventional approach extended right down to his conception of the building. ‘Hundertwasser's design was a sketch on a napkin,’ says Kerry Reyburn, HB’s Senior Technician. ‘Heinz Springman from Stuttgart, one of the Hundertwasser's Foundation architects, then developed the design further.’ This became a two-way process, with every part of the project reviewed to ensure it reflected the nuances of Hundertwasser's style.
Adhering to that style meant breaking away from the standard rectangular, single-colour entrance mat. As in the rest of the building, the entranceway is made up of flowing organic forms created out of ceramic and terracotta tiles. To complement the fluid space, Kerry proposed a curved EverTread mat comprised of randomly placed multi-coloured inserts.
‘We often use the Advance entrance matting,’ says Reyburn. ‘And we chose EverTread for this project because it’s a narrower profile – with less aluminium, the carpet colour is more visible.’ Using inserts of red, gold, blue and brown, the designers then had to work to ensure there were no repeating patterns, just as in Hundertwasser’s art. ‘We drew out the shape of the mat and placed all the colours as randomly as possible.’
The entrance mat also had to reflect Hundertwasser’s passion for the environment. ‘Product selection was based on green credentials, in keeping with Hundertwasser’s values,’ says Reyburn. ‘We needed to find green materials that were also code compliant. We sent data to the Foundation to approve not only the aesthetics but also sustainability, and the Advance EverTread product ticked the boxes.’
Architect: HB Architecture
Product: EverTread Entry Matting
Photographer: Mark Scowen