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Colouring outside the lines: This year’s Dulux Colour Awards winners 

The Dulux Colour Awards 2023 has once again celebrated the audacious and sublime use of colour in architecture and design. We bring you the debrief on this year’s winners.

Colouring outside the lines: This year’s Dulux Colour Awards winners 

Commercial and Multi-Residential Exterior winner, Phive Community, Cultural And Civic Hub by DesignInc, photo: Brett Boardman.

This year’s Dulux Colour Awards winners demonstrated a masterful use of colour as an aesthetic add-on and an intrinsic design element. From the dark and moody hues of residential interiors to the grandeur of restored theatres, the following winning projects have been celebrated for colouring outside the lines of convention and evoking emotions of a vibrant array.

“Colour is universal but it means different things to different people,” says Dulux colour and communications manager, Andrea Lucena-Orr. “This year’s suite of award winners epitomises the capacity for colour to transform spaces and elicit emotion in everybody.”

Winner of the Residential Interior category in both the Australian Interior Design Awards and the Dulux Colour Awards, Alma Road Residence by studiofour employed Dulux Fernhill and Ōkārito in a restrained yet impactful blend of design and colour.

Mount Mac by Williams Burton Leopardi, though not a category winner, took home a commendation in both award platforms. Coated in Dulux Wigram and Te Kuiti, Mount Mac reconnects with its roots through an honest design approach that echoes the owners’ lineage and their bond with the surrounding landscape and farm life.

Stepping out from the comfort of the home and into the world of commerce, the Postal Hall project by Trower Falvo Architects with Alessio Fini won the Commercial Interior – Workspace and Retail category. This project, bathed in Dulux Mist Green, epitomises how colour can transform workspaces into places where ideas bloom and creativity flourishes. 

Postal Hall, photography by Ben Hosking.

The showstopper of this year’s awards was The Darebin Intercultural Centre by Sibling Architecture. This project, characterised by its kaleidoscope of contrasting colours representing a diverse community, won not just the Commercial Interior – Public and Hospitality category, but also the Grand Prix Australia prize. The centre’s brilliant idea and impressive delivery were lauded for encouraging interaction and promoting unity in diversity. 

The Darebin Intercultural Centre, photography by Peter Bennetts.

Meanwhile the St James Theatre in Wellington, restored by Shand Shelton won the New Zealand Grand Prix and received a commendation in the Commercial Interior – Public and Hospitality category. With Dulux colours such as Rosewood, Waiau Bay Half, and Vintage Gold, the theatre’s restoration is a testament to the power of colour to enrich and enliven, evoking the magic of the auditorium as it was in 1912. 

St James Theatre, photography by Paul McCredie.

“Both Grand Prix winners demonstrated surprising colour combinations and palette choices, with outstanding success,” say the judges. “Nevertheless, the majority of award contenders were so distinct from one another, we fervently debated the merits of each…”

More than a decorative after-thought, this year’s winners represent colour as an essential design tool, used to define space, evoke feeling, and promote inclusivity.

Other notable winners from this year’s awards include –

Single Residential Exterior winner, Nightlight by Fabric, photography by Nancy Zhou.
Student category winner, Australia – Hues of Mount Kunanyi by Ruby Shields of RMIT.
Student category winner, New Zealand – The Canopy Bench by Augustina Binyamin of Victoria University.

Dulux Colour Awards

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