Zeal – Hamilton
Zeal Youth Trust is a dedicated team committed to the advancement of young people in the creative arts, leadership and education. As a youth organisation they exist to engage young people, spotlight their abilities, and journey with them through their struggles. Bound by values of authenticity, community, and opportunity, they are inspired by the creative potential of New Zealand youth. Through an holistic approach to youth development, Zeal currently provides support for young people in their journey towards becoming adults eager to give back to their communities. Not just a place to hang out after school, Zeal provides after school workshops in barista training, photography, graffiti art, and sound and lighting; as well as regular weekend events, music tuition, leadership courses and cognitive theory programmes for at-risk youth.
The creative arts are Zeal’s primary tool for reaching and engaging youth who may otherwise be engaged in antisocial activities. Zeal provides a centrally located facility offering positive alternatives to loitering in the CBD. Through regularly scheduled events and workshops Zeal fosters youth activity that is constructive for the city of Hamilton. Zeal embarked on a process seeking long-term financial and in-kind support from local authorities and businesses to establish a purpose-built Zeal youth facility in central Hamilton.
The brief, similar to the the previous Wellington fitout we completed for the trust in 2010, required multi-use spaces with a high level of acoustic separation, practice and recording spaces, a dedicated performance area and a cafe gaming space. An office for staff was also required.
Drawing from local graffiti, cafes and music venues we collated cultural aesthetics into an informal architectural language. This is highlighted in such things as utilising a stripped-back and exposed structural shell, dividing the space using inserted elements for cafe and practice rooms and an aesthetic of playful surfaces such as pegboard and blackboard paint decorated with local artist’s graffiti walls and recycled timber furniture.
The colour scheme breaks the black-out function of the performance space with the red of the truss structures (Resene Red Berry). White (Resene Black White) starkly contrasts against the black with occasional accents in light natural blue (Resene Conch) and brown (Resene Thatch), with feature details and textures (weatherboards and pegboard). Plywood and exposed concrete round out the overall stripped-back look which the organisation has augmented with graffiti-style artworks in keeping with the theme.