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Thompson Park Apartments

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ARCHITECTS | Creative Arch
CATEGORY | Residential
PROJECT YEAR | 2016
LOCATION | Mt Wellington, Auckland

The key design feature of this development is the creative solution for the layout, resulting from the principle of sustainable adaptive re-use.

Aesthetically, adaptive re-use was followed as a point of difference from other apartment developments in Auckland City, and it became imperative that this part of the brief remained unchanged. Although it was more cost effective to build new, our sustainable practice and design considerations determined the lower two floors of structure could be retained, and it was possible to increase the scope to include 104 apartments including one and two-bedroom options, most of which have sizeable balconies. On this basis, two lower levels were formed within the concrete existing structure, comprising of car-parking and storage, flanked by new units.

Upon the existing structure three additional levels were added, comprising of two linear block forms. The developer was keen to provide a condominium experience, incorporating generous spaces for informal social interaction and community camaraderie. Between the two new blocks, a shared 10m wide landscaped courtyard is connected with a series of walkways and floating bridges. This intermediary zone provides ample recreational area overlooked by pedestrian traffic across the two blocks.

The objective is to create community spaces with generous zones for informal interaction in shared landscapes. Unseen from the outside, the shared courtyard is the connecting link between lower and upper levels of the apartment. Located atop the existing concrete building structure, the common area features extensive planting, overlooked by secure gangways, considerably softening the interior spaces.

Lower floor apartments feature a generous 3.0m stud height creating an exceptionally high internal volumetric space. The prospect from each apartment and use of modern and contemporary internal finishes, along with access to the pool and park-like grounds, creates a high-end studio ambiance.

The exterior of the apartments incorporates a strongly defined entrance using the architectural language of repetition with dark louvers and vertical proportions breaking up the horizontal form of the building into smaller parts. The contrast of the development in the suburban context is reduced through the use of materials: the roughness of precast concrete panels, clean lines of the vertical black aluminium screening, and soft cedar colours work together to moderate the scale of the development.

Units are designed for light, outlook and privacy. Mount Wellington and Auckland City is seen to the north and west, while south and western apartments enjoy views of Thompson Park and playground.

All the apartments are positioned and laid out in response to sun with large window openings to maximise views and natural light penetration into the apartments. Master bedrooms are specifically designed to be protruding and behind external vertical screening that provides privacy and filtered light into the space.

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