As part of their redevelopment of the exclusive enclave of Wai O Taiki Bay, Creating Communities have engaged two of New Zealand’s top architectural firms to design a series of premium homes befitting this extraordinary location.
Heading up their two respective teams are Russell Cannons, Principal at Construkt Architects, and Ben Sando, Director at Ashton Mitchell Architects. Both are highly qualified architects, experts in the field of residential design and passionate about the opportunity they’ve been given to re-shape the architectural fabric of this prime piece of the Auckland isthmus.
“Wai O Taiki Bay is one of those areas that could be described as an unrecognised gem – sitting right on the foreshore of the Tamaki Straight, just south of the desirable suburbs of St Helliers and Glendowie, east of Glen Innes, with sensational views across to Half Moon Bay and the Buckland’s Beach peninsula,” says Cannons.
“The area offers phenomenal recreational opportunities, close to the foreshore, the foreshore reserves, and the established open spaces integrated throughout the neighbourhood.”
Sando agrees, saying that many of the hand-picked sites they’ve been given to design houses on have direct access to the Wai O Taiki reserve and extensive vistas out to the ocean beyond. “These sections are located in some of the premium streets in the area – such as Fernwood Place, which offers cul de sac living at its best, backing onto a reserve with estuary views. It really doesn’t get any better than this,” he says.
“Creating Communities know this area better than any other developer in Auckland and they have secured the best positions for their new homes,” says Sando. “They know what can and can’t be built, what works what doesn’t, what problems can and can’t be solved. They have developed the overall strategy for the placement and type of the new housing in the Wai O Taiki Bay area.”
Cannons goes onto say that within the designs of the individual houses there is both consistency and diversity. “I don’t think there is one design that is repeated, and much of that individuality is generated by the challenges of the contours of each site – placing the houses well on the section, and orientating them for maximum solar gain and easy access to outdoor living.”
Although both architects strive for individuality in each house they design for Wai O Taiki Bay, to ensure consistency within the neighbourhood, the homes incorporate a common and coherent architectural language through the use of similar materials and forms. This ensures that the sum of the whole is greater than the individual parts across the development, says Cannons.
“Thinking about some of the specifics of the design, particularly the choice of materials, we have made choices that demonstrate enduring quality over time – brickwork with both barefaced and bagged plaster finishes, and shiplap cedar weatherboards, stained and painted,”
The architects’ approach to the internal planning of these homes is all about openness with respect to today’s contemporary lifestyle. It’s also about how living spaces relate to each other and creating multiple configurations to maximise the way they can be used and adapted by needs of individual families
Some of the common internal features shared by all the houses are dual living areas, hi-spec designer kitchens with premium appliances and butler’s pantries, bathrooms with ensuites and walk-in wardrobes, double internal garaging, and premium fixtures and finishes throughout.
“The design of these houses always comes back to the people and families who live in them, and their aspirations for a quality home – a home that will support a contemporary comfortable, relaxed lifestyle,” says Cannons. “And within our designs, there is also the opportunity for individual purchasers to tailor the layouts to their specific needs.”
Ashton Mitchell Architects
Ashton Mitchell is an award-winning practice with over three decades of experience designing projects throughout New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. This multi-disciplinary firm has always been committed to the value of teamwork and has fostered that approach within the practice since its inception in 1983.
Ashton Mitchell’s approach to design is collaborative, with the aim of bringing creative thinking to each project they work on, and they encourage clients, consultants and contractors to engage in the process. This reinforces a holistic methodology to architecture, which integrates design, innovation, and the related disciplines of time, cost and buildability.
Construkt is an New Zealand-based design practice with a strong track record in urban design and architecture. Established in 2005, this award-winning company is led by its founding director and three principals, with 24 staff in total. Construkt is committed to design and place-making excellence, and believe that producing great work requires close collaboration between the client and architect.
The team at Construkt is particularly strong at project architect level, with eight registered architects available to design and coordinate their clients’ projects. Between them, they have an impressive range of experience, and work collaboratively to ensure that appropriate experience and capabilities are brought to bear on each project.
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