When a large piece of land in a well-known and highly visible part of the city becomes available for redevelopment, the new owner and project architect have a joint responsibility to design a building that takes best advantage of the site and looks appropriate to the area, both close up and from a distance.
So when architect Colin Leuschke was asked to design an apartment complex for the site once occupied by the White Heron Hotel at Point Resolution above the Parnell Baths in Auckland, he took it very seriously. The site, at the end of one of the city's top residential streets, is highly visible from Tamaki Drive.
"I felt it was important for our design to maximise the views and sun, work with the scale and style of homes in the rest of the street and continue to look good for many years to come," he says.
Leuschke decided on a concept that included two buildings on opposing axes. One building runs east to west across the site, while the other is on a north-to- south axis. This design creates a volume, in the form of a central drum, between the two buildings, which provides a driveway and turning circle, parking for visitors' cars and, equally importantly, ensures maximum light into each apartment. And, by angling the two buildings in different directions, every apartment gains its own individual aspect. All enjoy views of the harbour, some have outlooks towards the city and others look over Point Resolution and Hobson Bay.