Studio Pacific was commissioned to oversee the upgrade, seismic strengthening and interior refurbishment of the Sir Geoffrey Peren Building, situated on Massey University’s Turitea campus in Palmerston North.
Designed by the renowned American architect Roy Alston Lippincott, the Sir Geoffrey Peren building was completed in 1931 and is recognised as a Category 1 historic place by the Historic Places Trust.
The overall architectural approach to the project was to restore and respect the areas of the building with key heritage values and material. These include the entries, main corridors, the stairs, the Auditorium, and the heritage toilets. The rooms leading off these, which had already seen much change, were the places selected for more modern interventions. The heart of the Sir Geoffrey Peren Building is the Auditorium. This impressive, double height hall, with balcony, retained much of its original detailing, and the decision was made to reinterpret the original colour scheme.
In the corridors the colours are seen mainly in the carpet, where a bright version of the colour is in the stair, and in the corridor corner. Carpet tiles in more muted versions trail off into base grey carpet along the corridors. This means that each corner and stair is identified, and identifiable. This wayfinding strategy is picked up in a motif set into the carpet at each corridor corner.
This simple graphic abstracts the building’s floor plan, and shows the four colours set out relative to each other.