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Bright idea . . . Robbie Kinnaird (17) with his Steel and Stone motel concept. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Year 13 graphics pupils from Waitaki Boys’ High School were proud to present their tourist accommodation concepts to Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher at an exhibition this week.

The event at the Forrester Gallery showcased pupils’ concepts for a motel at Friendly Bay.

Earlier this year, the pupils were set a brief by Mr Kircher to design a motel that could help promote tourism and attract potential investors to Oamaru.

As part of their assignment, pupils had to research local culture and architecture, and consider it in their designs.

The project, which was run by technology teacher Richard Suter, went towards the pupils’ NCEA Level 3 qualifications.

Several Waitaki Girls’ High School pupils also took part in the project.

Last Monday, Mr Kircher met them at the exhibition to review their concepts.

Pupil Mark Douglas said he was satisfied with his Maunga motel concept, saying it was sleek in design and incorporated elements of minimalism.

Innovative … Mark Douglas (17) with his Maunga concept. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

The best part about the project was getting to work on something a bit different, he said.

“You don’t really get these sort of opportunities.”

Mark has two older brothers who are architects and he plans to follow in their footsteps after he finishes school.

Robbie Kinnaird came up with Steel and Stone, a design combining Oamaru stone and corten steel – two building materials commonly found in the Victorian precinct and the Oamaru Harbour.

“I’m quite happy with it,” he said.

Of all the designs on display, it was Ben Tiffen’s Captain’s Quarters motel concept that won over Mr Kircher.

Big moment … Ben Tiffen (17) with Captain’s Quarters. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Ben’s motel featured a mix of steampunk and rustic architecture that was also modern in design.

While coming up with the idea, he used several themes associated with Oamaru and was inspired by the ships that used to dock in Oamaru Harbour.

“It’s a bit of a spin on those cool things.”

The most satisfying part of the project was getting to see the finished product on display.

“It really brings out the whole year’s worth of work,” he said.