Isthmus

City |

Urban intensity.
Dominion & Valley
Road Apartments.

Approach

This apartment project by Panuku Development Auckland demonstrates how greater housing intensity – on a site with good links to public transport, restaurants and places of employment – can provide a number of community benefits.

Left Illustrative site plan illustrates the sun courts created between the four major building blocks on the site and the shared northern court for social events and kids play.

This project, located on a key Auckland transport artery, integrates landscape architecture, urban design and architecture. The design (now lodged for resource consent following consultation with the Local Board and the Council’s Urban Design Panel) will see 102 dwellings and eight retail or commercial premises occupy a large, 5,200m2 site.

Left Snapshot into the entry that is located surreptitiously between the buildings as they march down Dominion Road. The buildings are expressed as a collection of smaller shopfronts that echo the character of the local area.

The development site is currently occupied by small, single-storey warehouses and shops. The architects, seeing inherent advantages in the L-shaped that surrounds but does not include the corner site at the intersection of Dominion and Valley Roads, designed a sequence of four buildings formed around a series of courtyards, internal laneways, sun courts and shared areas – ‘bump spaces’ to provide residents with places to chat as they move throughout the complex towards the neighbouring streets.

“This is a great example of land that could be better utilised as quality housing and retail development that will contribute towards easing Auckland’s housing shortage and add to the local neighbourhood’s economy.”
— Panuku Development Auckland

Right and above Sketches from the design process exploring different options and iterations for massing and arrangement.

Below Valley Road elevation in context with its neighbours and neighbourhood.

This part of Mt Eden is perfectly positioned for a greater number of dwellings; it’s just four kilometres from Auckland’s CBD and close to swift and frequent public transport services to the city. It is also well catered for by supermarkets and numerous food and drink options, services and stores – all of which stand to benefit from an increased population. The new buildings are designed to gently transition between the commercial strip of Dominion Road and the leafy residential suburb behind.

Above Dominion Road street wall elevation in context with existing character fabric.

The buildings vary in height from three to five stories, and are orientated north to south to allow single-aspect apartments to benefit from either morning or afternoon sun. Ground-floor units are spread across two stories, while some dual-aspect three-beds apartments face both Dominion Road and the internal courtyard. Without being overtly referential, the architecture expands on the cues provided by an extensive street-character assessment of the neighbourhood. Dominion Road’s history of development is closely linked to the suburban tramline network – and that history provided the architects with a framework for a character-driven response that balances respect for the past with a view to the future.

The new buildings are layered: the formal arrangement balanced by more informal additions and there are varied and multifaceted street-facing edges. Each edge responds to the design cues provided by surrounding streets, but in all instances the overarching theme of connection and activation and the modulated scale brings depth and dynamism to this important part of the city.

Above Valley Road perspective view in the evening, showing the continuation of character shopfronts along valley road and the architectural expression of the roof forms above.

Collaborators
Beca
Tattico
TDG
Tonkin + Taylor
Plan.Heritage
Clough & Associates

Client
Panuku Development Auckland