The high life

Well-appointed high-rise apartments with good amenities and close proximity to shops and restaurants are a feature of today's city
Open plan lounge area with natural coloured sofas, apartment, ceiling, home, interior design, living room, penthouse apartment, property, real estate, room, window, gray, black
Open plan lounge area with natural coloured sofas, black coffee table, fireplace and doors opening onto outdoor dining area.

The traditional kiwi quarter-acre paradise is slowly being relegated to another era, as young couples, families and empty-nesters alike realise the advantages of apartment living. Pressure on urban sites and a faster pace of life are both contributing to this change.

Architect Kerry Avery says apartment living gives homeowners more time to pursue interests and leisure activities outside the home.

"Apartments often provide access to luxury facilities such as pools and gymnasiums, and body corporates generally employ staff to carry out building and garden maintenance," he says.

Size is also a factor, Avery says, as many new apartments today are more than twice as large as a standard New Zealand home.

"They are efficient, open plan, well orientated and more spacious than traditional homes. Often, they have generous stud heights, designer kitchens and bathrooms, and large terraces with built-in barbecues and extraction systems."


Bedroom with light coloured bedding, bright cushions, bedside bedroom, ceiling, home, interior design, real estate, room, suite, wall, window, gray, black
Bedroom with light coloured bedding, bright cushions, bedside tables with lamps and shutters at window.

The five-level apartment featured on these pages is a good example of these trends. Spacious and contemporary, it was purpose-built using commercial quality, solid precast concrete with a ceramic quartz exterior finish.

"The natural aggregates we chose for the exterior are almost colourfast and maintenance-free, which is important with shared ownership buildings," Avery says.

"Apartments such as this are primarily designed for couples in their 50s or 60s. Often, their families have left home and they have lived previously in a traditional suburban house, never dreaming they would end up in a multi-level apartment building. These people are looking for something timeless and classical, rather than edgy in its design."

The building's contemporary exterior reflects features of other modern houses in the area. By excavating to create a basement, the apparent height at the street frontage has been limited to three storeys, in keeping with neighbouring houses.

The building is angled for the sun, creating empty triangular corners on the site that have been landscaped. The angled layout also ensures there is no parallel window-to-window contact with neighbouring homes.

Plan of apartment layout. angle, architecture, area, design, diagram, drawing, floor plan, line, plan, product design, schematic, structure, white
Plan of apartment layout.

As well as being close to cafes and shops, the development includes extensive landscaping, a lap pool and outdoor entertaining areas. Each apartment has harbour and city views, spacious interiors, and European designer kitchens. Carparking and security are other features that make apartments such as these attractive to many homeowners, says the architect.

Inside furniture consultant Dinah Malyon has added traditional touches to the apartment's contemporary flavour. Walls are neutral and colour is introduced through furnishings and artwork.

"Most people don't enjoy living in something that looks like a showhome with white leather sofas and glass tables," she says. "They want a comfortable, warm and welcoming interior. There, a mix of modern and antique pieces gives an eclectic feel and prevents the space from appearing sterile."

Jun 15, 2005

Credit list

Developer
SMG Properties
Interior designer
Parlante Architectural Designers
Quantity surveyor
Dean Murray & Partners
Earthworks
Eban Norman Earthmovers
Cladding
Ceramitz from Auckland Property Restoration
Balconies and balustrades
Pengelly Engineers
Window and door joinery
Hardware
Linea stainless steel from FL Bone
Tiling
Trethewey Granite and Marble
Paint
Kitchen
Arclinea from Matisse
Security
Signature Security
Toilet
Duravit
Tapware
Paini
Basins
Duravit Bacino
Architect
Kerry Avery, Nicholas Melrose, Avery Team Architecture (Auckland)
Structural engineers
Brown & Thomson, Preece & Associates
Fire consultants
Landscaping
Nigel Cameron
Roof
Soprasun from Mohan Waterproofing
Heating and air conditioning
Comfort Zone
External louvres
Furnishings
Dinah Malyon,
Flooring
Cavalier Bremworth’s Eurhymy range from John Kasper Carpets
Lighting
Fabbian
Fireplaces
Real Fires
Bathrooms
LG Carder
Heated towelrail
DCS
Bath
Bette Starlet
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