A mesh balustrade created by Kaynemaile™ in a striking colour combination envelops a stairwell at the College of Creative Arts at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand.

The College of Creative Arts (CoCA) comprises of the internationally recognised School of Design and School of Art, and the newly established School of Music and Creative Media Production. Designed by Athfield Architects and completed in 2012, the Te Ara Hihiko building covers a total area of 3,600 square metres over four levels, and provides CoCA’s visual arts and fine arts students with new gallery and studio space.

Connecting the studio ‘containers’ is a large external stairwell; Kaynemaile worked with Athfield Architects to develop a mesh balustrade that would protect the stairwell from wind and rain. The mesh-clad stairwell connects the core central area to the studio spaces on the upper levels.

The two mesh colours – an interior ruby red and exterior champagne combination – give a dramatically different effect by day and night. By day the champagne is dominant from the outside and the red is dominant from the interior; by night the red is shown through the exterior.

The Kaynemaile screen offers a high level of wind and rain screening (about 80% reduction), while maintaining the high level of airflow required for regulatory compliance.

A second Kaynemaile screen was used as a balustrade for an internal stairwell, visually connecting the two pieces.

Te Ara Hihiko was honoured with several awards including NZ Wood Timber Design Award: Engineering Excellence — Winner (2012); NZIA Wellington Architecture Award: Education (2013); NZIA Wellington Architecture Award: Resene Colour Award (2013); NZIA Wellington Architecture Award: Sustainable Architecture (2013); PCNZ Rider Levett Bucknall Property Award: Coffey Education & Arts Award — Best in Category (2013); NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award: Education (2014); and NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award: Sustainable Architecture (2014).

Photography: Jason Mann