Efs Office, New Plymouth

Accountancy is often stereotyped as a dull, colourless profession but EFS Accounting has broken the mould with its vibrant new building in New Plymouth.

The two-storey building designed by Saunders Architects has a colourful façade clad in aluminium in bright green, orange, tan and silver 

As architect Neville Saunders, of Saunders Architects, says:  “With 19,000 cars passing daily the clients wanted a place that stands out from the crowd.  They got it!  The green colour was specially formulated from a car paint colour range as none of the paint brands had a bright enough green in their standard range. The colour has been sprayed onto a laminated aluminium base for durability and a quality finish.” 

He adds, “The other sides of the building didn’t miss out, however, on the colour as a pre-coated vertical steel siding and aluminium weatherboards allowed for a multicoloured finish to be achieved.”

The façade of the building has a slightly cubist look to it, accentuated by the contrasting colours -  an effect that Neville is happy with as he enjoys using colour in his designs and creating a sense of art.

“We made the windows the same shape to fit in with the panels, and the panels form a nice sort of cross,” says Neville. “That effect is purely artistic because I think buildings should be a piece of art. At the same time, the building has a great connection with the street.”

He says the colours on the façade have also been worked into a street sign and the company’s business cards.  

Neville says using coloured metal cladding on the building met the client’s brief in several respects: the two-storey building has street appeal, the materials were within the budget constraints and they are low-maintenance.

He says the other requirements from EFS for the approximately 400sq m building included staff parking below (with access via a right of way on the east side) with roller door access, and concrete floor construction with timber-framed structure for the main level.

EFS also wanted storage in the basement for archives, an internal stair from the basement car park to offices above, which sit at street level on the main street to provide easy access for elderly clients and mothers with pushchairs.

With the main floor, EFS wanted two partners offices, two interview/meeting rooms, reception area, three senior accountants offices, large staff office (with 4/5 desks), a boardroom next door to a kitchen with outdoor access to a deck, as well as toilets, storage, and space for a filing system.

The brief also called for a light and bright, climate-controlled office environment to make the offices a pleasant place to work year-round.

Neville says, “The design for the building follows the requirements of the brief and site constraints. A sloping site allowed for a building with basement parking and a level entry to the main office from the street - two of the client’s main criteria.

“The building is on a one-way street so the predominant view is when approaching from the east down the one-way system. For this reason, the front elevation became the focus for the building. A strong decorative panelled full height wall on the corner facing the approaching traffic provides the anchor for the building and colour scheme.  The entry is outlined by another strong L shaped element that provides a contrasting colour and makes a “book-end” to complete the front elevation.”

“Side walls and the rear of the building are clad with vertical steel cladding in complimentary colours to the front elevation.

Saunders Architects

A small, vibrant architectural practice based in New Plymouth, Saunders Architects is currently involved with projects throughout New Zealand from Northland to Queenstown. 

Architect Neville Saunders, the principal, believes that a good architectural practice should have the emphasis on confidential and personal service while upholding the principles of honesty, integrity and respect. Visual appearance, cost efficiency, functionality and good resale value are all vital when it comes to designing for a client. The skills, knowledge and experience of the architect enable the firm to “do well what we do well” and also enable it to give a project that little bit of extra pizzazz.

Neville says, “We are passionate about colour to give each project a unique presence. The practice aims to place the client’s needs above all else thus ensuring continual work by means of referrals from delighted clients.” 

Saunders Architects has specialised in designing childcare centres over the years but its portfolio also includes every genre from residential, commercial, education, hospitality and industrial buildings.



Saunders Architects Limited

Telephone: 6 759 7430

Mobile:  027 60 151 60


Main contractor:  

Street & Cook Construction Co Ltd, 

New Plymouth

Telephone: 06 751 2299.


Roofing and cladding supplier:

Metalcraft Roofing New Plymouth,

Telephone: 06 755 2113

Roofing: 0.55 ZINCALUME® 

Profile: MC760 and 3 degrees pitch,

natural finish.


Cladding south, east and west faces:


Profile: Metclad 850 laid vertically,

Colour:‘Cloud White’, ‘Ebony Black’

and ‘Terracotta’.


Cladding: North wall – street frontage

PSP Alpolic aluminium composite (ACM) cladding 

Custom sprayed colours:   

‘Bright Silver Metallic’, Resene ‘Fleet Digital Green’, Resene ‘Tan’, Resene ‘Orange’. 

Nu-Wall Mono 190 prefinished aluminium weatherboards, colour ‘Matt Black’