Visy Recycling's Education Room

Auckland’s 1.6 million residents send their recyclables to be processed at Visy Recycling Limited's Material Recovery Facility. Atelier Jones was commissioned to redesign their Education Room, an important space where the public come to learn about recycling.

The existing room was drab and classroom-like so a key factor in our design process was to use vibrant colours and materiality to imbue a dynamic and energetic atmosphere into the learning space. We chose colours that built on Visy’s existing brand, with the chosen palette drawing from the safety language of the Material Recovery Facility: bright ‘safety yellow’ handrails and vivid blue ramps. As a result, a duo of yellows and blues were adapted to pair with considered existing elements of the room - such as the pink hard hats - and were distributed throughout different surfaces and components (upholstery, handrail, cardboard strapping, couches, handles etc).

The room is organised into two main zones. The first zone is an educational space. In this space, on a wall populated by blue strapped layered cardboard, it showcases the full lifecycle of the four main materials sorted at Visy: Fibre, Plastic, Glass and Metal (steel & aluminium); from their initial raw state, transformed into everyday items and finally sorted, compressed or shredded for a second life. The second zone functions as a meeting lounge, an area accommodating smaller groups such as brand managers to brainstorm packaging ideas. To accommodate all types and sizes of audiences we allowed the room to be reconfigured through the use of stackable bench seats, a wheelable room divider (also containing health and safety gear), mobile display tables and smart storage. The use of yellow on one of the walls that runs the length of the space creates a unifying statement when the room is expanded to accommodate larger groups.

More than 80% of the existing fitout elements were reused, transformed, adapted or repurposed for the new space. 

Materials: Zinc plated steel, powder coated steel, plywood, maple, saveBOARD (made out of recycled beverage cartons), 100% recycled HDPE sheets, aluminium sheets, glass, bent acrylic, upcycled MDF carcasses and layered cardboard. 

  • Year Built: 2022

  • Type: Education 

  • Country: New Zealand

  • Photography: Kalsey Jay & Raimana Jones

Project leads & studio team: Mathilde Polmard, Raimana Jones  

Collaborators: Marie Beringer, Alistair Munro Design Company


Visy Recycling's Education Room