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DULUX TRADE - All The World's A Stage: Experts For Dulux Trade Bring Colourful Solutions To Hertfordshire Venue


The Alban Arena is a well established entertainment venue in Hertfordshire, with a busy programme of shows including concerts, comedy, film and exhibitions. The venue was built and decorated in the 1970s, using trends from this era. As a result, its interior has recently begun to look dated, having not been revised for over 20 years.

The owners of the Alban Arena were searching for a dynamic new look to refresh and transform the tired colour scheme, while retaining the original character of the building's interior. In order to give the venue an image that lived up to its lively programme of events, a colour expert from Dulux Trade was enlisted to develop a fresh new colour scheme to lift the overall feel of the interior and bring its appearance up to date. The colour consultancy service is a free resource provided by Dulux Trade, offering complete colour solutions for a wide range of commercial projects.

Specialist facility management company Leisure Connection and decorating contractors ESK worked with a Regional Specification Manager from Dulux Trade who recommended the use of products in the Diamond product range, including Diamond Eggshell, Diamond Matt and Diamond Satinwood. These products are formulated to be up to ten times more durable than standard silk emulsions and ten times more stain resistant as well. The characteristics of the paint deliver long-term cost savings and outstanding performance that significantly extends maintenance cycles, making Diamond perfect for communal areas, corridors and high traffic environments such as the Alban Arena.

A particular challenge for Dulux Trade was to design a colour scheme which gave the venue a modern look, but which would not date quickly and lose appeal over the coming years. The brief also included keeping the existing chocolate brown ceilings in certain areas of the building, so it was important that this was taken into consideration when choosing a colour palette.

Under the existing colour scheme, it was perceived that areas within the venue felt very disjointed, so one of the key aims was to design a scheme which incorporated a visual link between areas in order to provide continuity.

Dulux Trade Colour Consultant, Lisa Pilley, explains: "I wanted to keep the base colour simple, so I suggested Quick Drying Diamond Eggshell in Jabot as the main neutral colour throughout. Continuity was a key factor missing from the existing scheme and colour is a great way to achieve this. I chose an aqua colour as the key accent, but varied the shade between adjacent areas for a dynamic visual effect.

"The main bar in particular was an area of concern for the venue's owners. It should be a hub of social activity where people can congregate and relax in a comfortable environment, but it felt weary. For this I chose a retro colour scheme which retained the unusual feature ceiling and beautiful teak doors. A bold use of the accent colour, mixed with greener tones to highlight the panelled walls, gave the area a retro look by day, but transformed the space to give it a trendy 'city bar' look under dimmed lighting."

Gordon Perham, Senior Surveyor at ESK, the contractors which carried out the work, says: "We were aware of the Dulux Trade colour consultant service, but hadn't used it for a while. When we were approached by Leisure Connection to work on this project, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try the service again - and I'm glad we did! Lisa provided us with very comprehensive drawings detailing her recommendations, so it was very easy to put them into practice. Lisa's experience and expert eye was invaluable for this project and has resulted in a scheme which instantly rejuvenates the whole interior."

Ann Noble, Marketing Manager, Colours and Tinting for Dulux Trade says: "Despite a lot of careful planning at the product specification stage, many projects require some extra assistance in order to decide on the best use of colour for a particular project. This is where our experienced colour consultants come in. Based regionally, they work alongside the client to really understand the individual needs of a project in order to provide a solution which satisfies both the technical and aesthetic briefs of a job.

"Employing our colour selection techniques, based on the Dulux Trade Language of Colour principles, we were able to provide an added service to the benefit of both the owners and visitors to St Albans Arena."

The colour consultancy service from Dulux Trade offers free advice and expert guidance on a wide variety of colour related issues and most appropriate colours for use in alternative environments.

Email: james.green@akzonobel.com


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