Nestled on the banks of Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour, NZ Sugar’s Chelsea Sugar Factory is easy to spot with its iconic pink exterior.

But the factory wasn’t always that colour.

The colour scheme was the brainchild of former NZ Sugar Company Director and renowned architect Sir Michael Fowler.

Sir Michael, who also served as mayor of Wellington from 1974 to 1983, passed away in Wellington in July this year, aged 92.

According to Robert Lowndes, who was Managing Director of NZ Sugar Company from 1987 to 1993, Sir Michael got the job of picking the factory's new colour scheme after regularly expressing his concern about the existing paint job.

At the time, each of the factory’s buildings were painted in different shades, to give the impression of a village.

Sir Michael produced sketches to show the effect of painting the buildings pink, with a blue boiler stack and trim. He had engineers paint a small building’s four walls each with a different shade of pink, from which he chose the final colour.

While the factory walls have a distinctive peachy-pink hue from a distance, the paint shade is actually called Resene Tuscan Red.

The pink factory is a great match for the bright Chelsea Pink shade that features on some of the Chelsea sugar  packs.