Kāinga Ora is looking to redevelop their site at Highbury Triangle for medium density housing – appropriate for the location and zoning. The proposal accommodates 236 apartments dispersed over five buildings: four for senior Kāinga Ora tenants and one for the private residential market.
A new lane running from Tait Park in the east to Great North Road in the west establishes a publicly accessible link through the site and connects the individual buildings to each other and the neighbourhood. The lane also incorporates car parking for Kāinga Ora tenants and visitors. Landscaped courtyards, staggered building positioning and varying building heights form an undulating northern frontage towards Ash Street and its border of mature trees. The north facing courtyards, together with the new lane, create a variety of open spaces for residents. The courtyards are north facing and well overlooked, fostering a welcoming and social outdoor environment.
The apartment buildings for senior Kāinga Ora tenants offer a combination of 1- and 1.5-bedroom units; common spaces for tenants include lounges in each building as well as spaces for communal activities and a garden pavilion. The apartment building on the Great North Road side offers studios, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for the private market; car parking for the residents is provided in a semi basement which utilises the slope of the land. Commercial spaces on ground floor aim to activate the footpath along Great North Road and a roof terrace for residents affords views across the neighbourhood and further west to the Waitakere Ranges.
Four of the five buildings are oriented north-south and are organised around double-loaded corridors serving east or west facing apartments. The corridors receive daylight and offer views to the surroundings via generous windows. The fifth building is oriented east-west. Shallower in plan, it creates a courtyard in front of it which is overlooked by north facing apartments. These are accessed via a glazed corridor on the southern side. The entire ground floor of this building is dedicated to communal uses that can spill out onto the landscaped grounds.
The collection of buildings acquires its identity from the common materiality of brick facades. Different colours of brickwork add variety and create individuality within the overall ensemble. The brick facades provide a human scaled texture up close and establish a visually pleasing dialogue with the surrounding landscape.
Spacious covered balconies provide outdoor living space for all apartments. Balcony balustrades and privacy screens in the form of vertical metal slats contrast the solidity of the brick facades and articulate the elevations. Planters on balconies add vertical greenery to the buildings and reinforce the connection to the landscape context.