Selwyn Street Student Accommodation
Bringing brightness and durability to student accommodation with Kingston carpet tiles and Neoflex rubber flooring.
‘Student living is an intense environment,’ says Sershin Iyer of Warren and Mahoney, ‘so we were looking for products that were robust but also eye-catching.’
For their design of the new Selwyn Street student accommodation overlooking the University of Waikato’s Tauranga city campus, the architects satisfied the two demands by selecting Kingston carpet tiles and Neoflex rubber from Advance flooring. ‘We do lots of R&D into student living,’ says Iyer, ‘catering for Gen Z and the future Generation Alpha, so we knew where we were going.’
Built on a challenging site, the four-level building comprises 93 student rooms, with a communal kitchen occupying the lowest floor. Dramatic views of Tauranga’s coastal landscape are reflected in a design language shared between exterior and interior – triangular panels on the outside have a 3D element playing on shadow, which is repeated in design elements inside.
Each accommodation level has a sunlit, north-facing communal area defined by bright yellow Kingston tiles. ‘We chose carpet tiles for pattern and longevity,’ says Iyer. ‘The main area is dark grey for serviceability and indicates the walkway area, which then breaks off into the colourful flooring and furniture palette. It had to be very social, and we want it to be welcoming, active and alive.’
Tea and coffee kitchenettes are fitted with the same bright orange Neoflex rubber flooring that serves the MasterChef-style kitchen. Says Iyer, ‘First of all, rubber meets the durability criteria, and Neoflex also provides that colour “pop”.’
For the architects, flooring colour defines ‘where we want people to be, socialise, learn and live.’ Kingston carpet tiles and Neoflex rubber flooring from Advance will not just withstand the rigours of student living but, as Iyer puts it, help create ‘a sense of inclusiveness, belonging, sharing, caring and learning.’
Architect: Warren & Mahoney
Photographer: Amanda Aitken