- New Zealand Commercial Project Awards, Gold Award 2023
- New Zealand Commercial Project Awards, Special Award 2023
One of the country’s most isolated communities, Karamea sits on an alluvial plain at the top of the West Coast, bounded by mountains and the sea. For the newly refurbished Karamea Area School, the architects reflected the singular local landscape using Awake and Havelock carpet tiles from Advance Flooring.
‘We talked about using natural themes very early in the process,’ says Simon Harrison, at MOAA Architects. ‘This included the use of plywood and timber wall and ceiling linings and natural tones for the exterior, which was carried through to the flooring selection.’
Behind the school is the Karamea Domain, a beautiful green field which the school takes full advantage of, inspiring the designers to use a base of green Awake carpet tiles with contrasting grey Havelock tiles to tie the school’s interiors to its surroundings.
‘Colours were selected to tie into the Karamea landscape: from the green hills to the greys of the beach and river gravels. Both the colour and textural pattern of the Advance range met this requirement perfectly,’ says Harrison.
‘In school projects, floor coverings are crucial to the overall design, as students spend a lot of time on the floor, so we really considered the colour, texture and feel of the carpet tiles.’
Durability was another key requirement. Because the town is so remote – over 100 km from Westport – all the materials needed to be robust and hard-wearing due to the potential difficulties of repair and replacement.
Havelock and Awake carpet tiles come with a limited 15-year warranty and are ideally suited to education environments, conforming to the necessary Ministry of Education specifications. For this project, the designers knew they were getting both the products and the service they needed.
‘It is important that products such as carpet tiles have very good customer service and technical support,’ says Harrison. ‘Advance Flooring excel at this, giving us confidence to specify their products.’
Architect: MOAA Architects
Photographer: Andy Spain