Finalist for the 2019 Auckland Architecture Awards
Category: Housing - Multi Unit
The Buckley Design Guidelines and Framework Plan prescribed the units (on this superlot) along Hobsonville Point Rd
127-161 Hobsonville Pt Rd (between Rarahu Rd and Ponga St),
Client name: Universal Homes Ltd
The Buckley Design Guidelines and Framework Plan prescribed the units (on this superlot) along Hobsonville Point Rd provide either retail, commercial or ‘work-from home’ office activities at ground floor (3.2m ceiling heights), a maximum building setback of 1.5m off the road boundary and a mandatory 3 and 2+1 (third level to be a half storey) storey height requirement. Two identical blocks (9 units each), comprising of a 3- or 4-bedroom unit paired with a 2-bedroom unit (with provision for the homeowner to extend into the third storey attic space) have their northern boundary fronting Hobsonville Point road.
The Framework’s parameters were not completely in line with our client’s feasibility or development brief meaning the design had to account for and accommodate both (eg the framework plan required a maximum building setback of 1m on Hobsonville Point Rd). The primary building is pushed back 3m to allow a northern elevated courtyard (0.9m above pavement level) with planting used to control privacy – a non-complying activity under the framework plan due to the 3m setback. To mitigate this, 1.2m deep balconies were expressed up the triple height façade articulated through fine-grained vertical balustrading and an elegant structural frame which extends the building’s bulk and a nod to the Framework plan’s intent. The units are also served by a rear outdoor court accessed via the open plan living spaces. A clear mandate in designing out internal or membrane gutters drove the resulting roofscape - A repeating pattern of paired units (designed to read like a larger single unit due to the length of the street elevation) broken by vertical negative bands, arrayed 9 times over the 2 blocks. An elegantly robust rhythm of rich red brick and painted concrete gabled forms providing a strong urban edge appurtenant to its context.
Brick veneer and painted insitu concrete were chosen for durability and their relatively low maintenance nature. Large North facing glazing, with either a terrace or horizontal timber battens provide effective solar control; allowing the winter sun in whilst providing shade from the harsh summer sun. The solid concrete walls provide thermal massing maintaining a temperate internal environment. All units have either 2 or 3m3 water tanks used to collect and reticulate grey water (from the roofs) for use in flushing toilets, laundry and irrigation. Heat pump hotwater cylinders and gasfor cooking are some examples of energy saving initiatives.
Project Author Responsible for the design: Madushin Amarasekera