An Auck­land ho­tel project al­lowed a bou­tique de­sign stu­dio to de­liver the un­ex­pected and demon­strate its ca­pac­ity to rein­vent.

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Un­til re­cently, the ho­tel of­fer­ing across Auck­land has lan­guished as lim­ited and lack­lus­tre – a weak point for trav­ellers to the city. But with in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tors re­spond­ing to de­sign and travel trends, the in­dus­try is fi­nally un­der­go­ing a shift to re­fined, be­spoke op­tions.

Naumi Ho­tel, owned by Sin­ga­pore’s Hind Group, is a new of­fer­ing near Auck­land Air­port that show­cases site-spe­cific de­sign and how that’s achieved with lo­cal tal­ent. Multi-dis­ci­plinary de­sign stu­dio, Ma­te­rial Cre­ative, has ap­plied its skills in spa­tial de­sign and in­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture to the 195-room, 10,500 square me­tre project.

“We be­lieve in au­then­tic­ity and this res­onates in the cre­ation of in­spired in­te­ri­ors,” says Toni Brandso, one half of the Ma­te­rial Cre­ative team. Es­tab­lished a decade ago with Liv Pa­tience, the duo ex­tends its tal­ents across the hos­pi­tal­ity, res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial sec­tors.

“The Naumi brand is play­ful and un­ex­pected, yet con­sid­ered, and our brief was to cre­ate a unique and dis­tinc­tively New Zealand bou­tique ho­tel that en­com­passes their ideals,” says Pa­tience. “They wanted a ho­tel like no other in the New Zealand mar­ket – an ex­hil­a­rat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and feast for all the senses. As spa­tial de­sign­ers with a strong ar­chi­tec­tural sen­si­bil­ity, our in­te­grated de­signs tell a unique story and each project has its own nar­ra­tive.”

For­merly the Ho­tel Grand Chan­cel­lor, the ho­tel re­quired an en­tire re-fit, from the ex­te­rior cladding and sig­nage, through to new in­te­rior lay­outs and con­fig­u­ra­tions. Brandso and Pa­tience ap­ply their

story-telling phi­los­o­phy to each project, and took a trea­sured New Zealand na­tive bird, the tui, as the ref­er­ence point for Naumi.

“It’s a bird that’s en­tered our na­tional con­scious­ness like no other,” says Pa­tience. “They have an ar­ray of shim­mer­ing metal­lic greens with blue, pur­ple and bronze ac­cents, and their fil­a­ment-like neck feathers and tufty throat com­plete the bril­liant dis­play. The tui’s play­ful, cheeky and joy­ful char­ac­ter is hinted at in all spa­ces, lead­ing your eye through the ho­tel.”

Tech­nol­ogy is in­te­gral to help­ing Ma­te­rial Cre­ative com­mu­ni­cate their vis­ual sto­ries to clients and the HP Spec­tre lap­top was in­valu­able through­out the Naumi project. “The Spec­tre is the most ver­sa­tile piece of tech­nol­ogy we own,” says Pa­tience. “The pen en­ables us to draw on screen – it’s the per­fect amal­ga­ma­tion of hand draw­ing and tech­nol­ogy,” she says.

From specs to colour tones, de­tails can be eas­ily changed and com­mu­ni­cated to clients both on and off­site, which keeps de­ci­sion mak­ing nim­ble. “It’s great on site as we can draw over the top of pho­tos and PDFs and make what­ever changes are nec­es­sary, then send them to the client for ap­proval,” says Brandso. “It also ties us back to our roots and makes us feel more in touch with the draw­ing process.”

With count­less de­ci­sions to be made and time­lines to be man­aged through­out the Naumi project, the Spec­tre be­came a key part of the process. The re­sults of cre­ativ­ity and tech­nol­ogy work­ing to­gether are im­pres­sive – the ho­tel’s in­te­rior pal­ette draws on the tui’s rich gra­di­ent of colours, ref­er­enced as a grad­ual pro­gres­sion from the en­try through to each in­di­vid­ual room.

“Your first im­pres­sion – the re­cep­tion, com­mu­nal spa­ces, restau­rant and bar – are made up of emer­ald greens, jew­ellike blues and pur­ple-ma­genta splashes,” says Pa­tience. “Gold fea­tures in feath­ered ac­cents from the lay­ered leaf can­vas art­work at re­cep­tion, through to discs and light­ing that off­set the beauty of deeper colour tones. Pro­gress­ing down the hall­ways through­out the ho­tel, the tones are monochro­matic, with colour pops to the car­pet for wayfind­ing. On en­ter­ing the rooms, the colour and en­ergy of the tui greets you with an up­lift­ing pal­ette.”

Top The tui-in­spired pal­ette in the lounge area at Naumi Ho­tel.

Above Toni Brandso and Liv Pa­tience with the HP Spec­tre at the Ma­te­rial Cre­ative stu­dio.

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