The New Zealand Room (Te Koha)

The New Zealand Room has been designed to showcase leading examples of New Zealand design and innovation to a discerning international audience. This space provides ways for innovative New Zealand companies working in Europe to participate in the Biennale, or reach audiences that attend the prestigious event.

During the Biennale’s duration, the New Zealand Room will host events organised by event patrons, partners and supporters. It will also be a base for cultural events, including symposia on architecture, innovation and science.
The visitor experience at Palazzo Bollani has been designed by Rufus Knight, a young, award-winning designer. The rooms have finished with furniture, lighting, rugs and art by leading Kiwi designers and artists. The New Zealand Room has been generously supported by: Abodo, David Trubridge, Nick Radford, Nodi Rugs, Philips Selecon, Resene, Robinson Interiors, ROCKCOTE, Resident and Vanda Holdings. Special thanks to: Campaign for Wool NZ, Okewa and Ngā Aho.

We incorporated the ROCKCOTE Earthen natural clay plasters

Rufus with rockcote wall

Rufus Knight presenting to guests in the New Zealand Room. Rear wall –  Rockcote Earthen Clay plaster.
Images courtesy – NZ Institute of Architects, Photography David St George

How did we do it –
We created and plastered the wall sections

Mike May – Plasterer in Auckland which were then broken down into sections for shipping. We also considered how to get the wall sections up spiral staircases in Venice. Some of the other considerations in selecting the ROCKCOTE natural clay plaster were as follows –
The age of the building into which the wall would be set up – you don’t want to damage an 800 year old building. Our clay plasters can be re-wetted, and re-worked onsite to eliminate the wall section joins when put together.
The use of clay plaster virtually eliminated the potential for damage as the coatings contain no cement or lime which could if dropped on surfaces cause damage and would be hard to repair insitu within a tight time frame. Earthen Clay plaster was the best selection.
How to make good the walls when they were installed. We pre-mixed all the required EARTHEN clay plaster including colour and sent it over with the shipment. Clay plaster will remain moist for years in unopened pails.
Now, the tricky bit – how do you finish a wall to the required standard, when your not in Venice. A very good friend of ours Livio Semioni who came to New Zealand to train our contractor network with our Venetian lime plasters lives an hour out of Venice, so a call was made. Livio was stoked to be involved with this project. As a leading plastering professional in Italy, Livio surpassed expectations and finished what is recognised as a dominant statement to the New Zealand Room.
Congratulations to all the team involved in this bespoke plastering project that showcases not only our materials but our skills to the world.

Selected Resene Colours

Grain Brown (Y82-025-072)

Sandspit Brown cc (Y84-017-074)

Wan White (N93-005-105)