Gisborne-based architectural firm Architects 44, were tasked with refurbishing an empty, 100-year-old building into an environment fit for purpose as modern-day offices for a client.

Their design brought out the best of the building’s heritage while making provision for contemporary aesthetics and working practices, says Rowan O’Brien, Director of Ultra Surface Solutions.

“Architects 44 contacted us as experts in the design, manufacture and installation of oftentimes complex front-of-house solutions.

They devised a unique reception counter concept, the surface panels they had initially envisioned as constructed from steel sheet metal. However, after reviewing aesthetic and maintenance considerations, Tavolo premium acrylic solid surface was selected.”

Not all surfaces are created equal

Produced by Ultra Surface Solutions, Tavolo is an acrylic solid surface suitable for a range of commercial and residential applications including countertops, walls, door and drawer panels, vanities and splashbacks.

As a non-porous product, Tavolo can be used in areas of food preparation and is National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Food Safety approved. Similarly, it carries GreenGuard certification for low chemical emissions for cleaner air quality, as well as GreenGuard Gold certification for indoor air quality safe for schools and healthcare facilities.

Tavolo is available in two thicknesses—12mm and 20mm—and 15 New Zealand inspired colours.

“One of Tavolo’s biggest benefits is that it comes in large-format sheets of 3650mm x 950mm. This means it can be cut into any shape and formed into complex designs, such as the one Architects 44 devised for their client.

“We used nine sheets of Tavolo solid surface panels, compound cut into various shapes, with the resulting form being a striking geometric design, which we then fused together to create a seamless monolithic sculptural counter.

“For this project, Tavolo Coronet was selected for its elegant and warm white colour profile and the surface left with a matte finish,” says Rowan.


Tavolo Coronet Counter Architects 44
Tavolo Coronet Counter Architects 44
Tavolo Coronet Counter Architects 44
Tavolo Coronet Counter Architects 44
Featured on Archipro

Tavolo 100% Acrylic Solid Surface: fit for purpose

The reception counter took 2–3 days to manufacture and was pieced together in the Ultra Surface Solutions’ warehouse before being installed by their in-house installation team.

“As this design was so complex and the final look so exacting, we preferred to complete manufacturing in the warehouse before shipping the finished product to the site. With less complex jobs, the pieces can be ‘flat packed’ for assembly and installation onsite. Where possible, we prefer for our in-house team of installers to carry out installation, however, we do have a network of approved installers located throughout the country.”

The finished reception counter has an overall length of four metres, is one metre wide at its widest point and has a fall of 500mm from 1200mm at its highest point down to 700mm at the tip of its four-faceted point.

“We have subsequently heard that the client is thrilled with the finished office redesign devised by Architects 44 and with the dramatic statement that the reception counter makes, often commented on by visitors to the offices,” says Rowan.

Tavolo Coronet Acrylic Solid Surface
NSF SCS Global Greenguard Greenguard Gold
  • 15 NZ inspired colours
  • Inconspicuous join seams
  • Hygienic
  • UV stable
  • Stain, fade and chemical resistant
  • Mould and mildew resistant
  • Low-maintenance and repairable
  • Machining customisation

Tavolo is NSF, Greenguard and Greenguard Gold Certified

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