The winners of the 2016 Dulux Colour Awards set a new benchmark for colour usage, pushing boundaries across all categories, using colour boldly but carefully to transform spaces, and impressing the jury with their sense of storytelling through colour. The 30th edition of the awards program fittingly reflected an evolution of colour, with retro elements intermixed with forward-thinking palettes.

The Condensery by PHAB Architects took out the Grand Prix prize, also winning the Commercial Exterior category and Highly Commended in the Commercial Interior (Public Spaces and Hospitality) category for its exceptionally clever application of a single colour in varying shades.

The judging panel for the 2016 Dulux Colour Awards included highly-regarded design industry leaders from a range of disciplines: Meryl Hare – Principal at Hare + Klein Interior Design; Clare Cousins – Director at Clare Cousins Architects; James Harper – Principal at BrookingHarper and Director at Design Institute of Australia; Matt Gibson – Director at Matt Gibson Architecture + Design; and Alex Fulton – Director at Alex Fulton Design (NZ).

2016 Dulux Colour Awards winners

1. Grand Prix

The Condensery – Somerset Regional Art Gallery by PHAB Architects

Judging panel comment:

This project was awarded for its exceptionally clever application of a sole colour in varying shades, seamlessly executed to showcase a beautiful continuity both inside and out. Using an array of reds to tempt any palette from deep oxides to reddish pinks resulted in an incredibly beautiful outcome against the rural landscape. The Condensery tells a fascinating, layered story, whilst honouring the original architecture and history of the building.

The Condensery features Dulux Lime White, Dulux Bombay Pink, Dulux Red Leather, Dulux Deep Garnet, Dulux Indian Red, Dulux Red Oxide and Dulux Deep Leather.

2. Commercial Interior (Public Spaces & Hospitality)

Alex Hotel by Arent & Pyke

Judging panel comment:

The Alex Hotel is an example of how a strategic yet subtle approach to colour can result in effortless sophistication. Raw and refined, a beautiful, unusual palette evokes a sense of relaxation and serenity with clever and well thought out precision, creating a homely and immersive environment.

Alex Hotel features Dulux Rosetta, Dulux Ginger Crunch, Dulux Dreamland, Dulux Deep Sun, Dulux Amazon Depths, Dulux Vivid White, Dulux Grey Pebble and Dulux Tranquil Green.

3. Commercial Interior (Office Fitout & Retail)

The Doctor’s Studio by Russell & George

Judging panel comment:

The Doctor’s Studio is an extremely forward thinking and provocative project that pushes the boundaries with an original display of colour and an uplifting palette. Russell & George have shown a true commitment to colours throughout the interior in a very luxurious manner, achieving an effortlessly unique and natural look.

The Doctor’s Studio features Dulux Tuscan Sunset, Dulux Sea Radish and Dulux Natural Light.

4. Commercial Exterior

The Condensery by PHAB Architects

5. Single Residential Interior

Normanby by Whiting Architects

Judging panel comment:

Normanby is a courageous project showcasing a perfectly crafted, clever use of colour using pastel hues with natural materials and bold colour in exactly the right proportion. The daring use of colour complements and highlights the natural mix of materials in the home including leather and wood.

Normanby features Dulux Lexicon Quarter, Dulux Domino, Dulux Marshmallow Quarter, Dulux Icepack Quarter and Dulux Deluxe Days.

6. Single Residential Exterior

O’Grady by Whiting Architects

Judging panel comment:

The restrained and unique palette used for O’Grady achieves a perfect balance between colours defining two periods. The exterior has an urban feel with a masculine mood in Dulux Domino adding drama at the entrance with a contrasting pastel.

O’Grady features Dulux Ghosting, Dulux Hugo Double, Dulux Lexicon Quarter, Dulux Domino and Dulux Mudpack.

7. Multi Residential Interior

Holman Hall, Monash University by Hayball & Richard Middleton Architects

Judging panel comment:

Hayball & Richard Middleton Architects have exhibited a very sympathetic use of colour throughout this space, with careful consideration of the building’s aspects. The colours featuring in student rooms are used with purpose to create a sense of harmonious personalisation and functionality. The variety of powder coated finishes works beautifully alongside timber grains with a wash of colour.

Holman Hall features Dulux Natural Light, Dulux Glowing Coals, Dulux Chimes, Dulux Black Satin and Dulux Signal Red.

8. Installation & Events

Masterpieces from the Hermitage by National Gallery of Victoria

Judging panel comment:

Masterpieces from the Hermitage exhibition represent a well-orchestrated standout example of how bold and defined colour can really transform and enhance a gallery exhibition. As traditional gallery spaces display white backdrops, these spectacular and authentic colours bring the art to life and transport you into another world.

9. International

Empire Cinema by ArcHaus

Judging panel comment:

One of the most impressive before and after restorations, the Empire Cinema is a great example of an inspiring conservation project that has been transformed using colour dedication. The bold palette respects the heart of the old building with colours that revitalise and create an iconic, Baz Lurman’esque, vibe.

Empire Cinema features Dulux Cherry Wood, Dulux Maheono Half and Dulux Masterton.

10. Student

Infinite Mulligan by Kei Jin Pook (RMIT)

Judging panel comment:

Vibrant and lively, this project cleverly references local sporting teams in the colour palette. Using a playful and bold use of colour, Infinite Mulligan celebrates the conceptual possibilities without taking itself too seriously.

Infinite Mulligan features Dulux Pink Quince, Dulux Lickedy Lick, Dulux Paris Pink, Dulux Golden Banner, Dulux Aqua Blue and Dulux Federation Red.

2016 Dulux Colour Awards Commendations (Category/ Project Name/ Architecture/Design Practice)

Commercial Exterior

Empire Cinema and Eatery by ArcHaus Architects; Hellenic Kew by March Studio; Kensington Street Terraces by Paul Davies Pty Ltd in association with Tonkin Zulaikha Greer

Commercial Interior (Office Fitout & Retail)

Firecracker HQ by Setsquare Studio; Koorie Heritage Trust at Federation Square by Lyons and IADV; Lechte Corporation Office Fitout by Plus Architecture.

Commercial Interior (Public Spaces & Hospitality)

Hellenic Kew by March Studio

Highly Commended - Commercial Interior (Public Spaces & Hospitality)

The Condensery – Somerset Regional Art Gallery by PHAB Architects

Installation and Events

Aussie Summers by Camille Javal

Multi Residential Exterior

Murphy Street by Whiting Architects

Multi Residential Interior

Monash University Logan Hall by McBride Charles Ryan

Single Residential Exterior

Bronte House by ASA Architects; Manly Vale Bush House by Michelle Walker Architects Pty Ltd

Single Residential Interior

Dowel House by FMD Architects; FS House by Hola Projects; Glenlyon by Louise Walsh


Beech Hill by Design.spec Ltd


The House That Politics Built by Tessa Forde

Image: DCA2016 Grand Prix Winner - The Condensery by PHAB Architects