24 August 2016

The Shape of Things to Come

The Redmond seeks to raise the bar in apartment design


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Most of us remember it as the Resene showroom opposite the police station at Three Lamps, but over the next few months this site will be transformed into one of Ponsonby’s most desirable boutique apartment developments.

Architecturally ­designed and comprising just four well­-appointed apartments, The Redmond will deliver a new standard for high-­end apartments in the area. At  around 320m2, it is by no means a large site. However, architects Watgunlow  have cleverly crafted these generous apartments over two storeys, with up to three retail units occupying the ground floor.

The renderings of the proposed building illustrate a facade that has been visually broken up by the use of different shapes and materials. And this was a deliberate gesture by the architect. “We didn’t want it to look like the office building next door. We wanted it to feel residential and inhabited,” says Matthew Waterfall, from Watgunlow.

“We wanted it to be a polite neighbour,”

“It’s in an interesting position - right on the transition between business and residential, so the challenge for us was to determine the massing of the building to satisfy all the neighbours,” he says. “We were also very conscious of providing a strong corner presence.”

The resulting design uses a series of fluted precast concrete panels, arranged vertically to give the desired effect on the corner, then stepping back using smaller, lower masses on either side to deal with its neighbours more gently.

Right from the outset, this boutique complex was always going to be aimed at owner-occupiers, and its interiors have been deliberately specified at a much higher level than many of the other apartments currently on the market. Each apartment comes with a two-­car stacker, with vehicular access from. Prosford Street. A single, dedicated lift delivers each homeowner to their front door, via a shared foyer. 

“The problem with many apartments, even high-­end ones; is that you walk straight into the kitchen or lounge. There’s no transition or sense of arrival,” says the architect

“In each one of these apartments we have included a small lobby area behind the front door, to gently ease you into the apartment.” There are two layouts replicated on each floor. The larger of the two, at 130m2, wraps around its slightly smaller neighbour. Both have lounge balconies facing Redmond St, with their master bedroomson the quieter, west-­facing Prosford St.

“Because of the shape of the building and its proximity to its neighbours, there was a lot of complexity with the layout,” explains the architect. “The priority was getting light into the bedrooms, and maximising the two sides of the building that have usable windows.”

The larger apartment has three dedicated bedrooms, whilst the other has two, with a flexi-­room that could either be used as a smaller bedroom, TV lounge  or study. Full-sized kitchens with separate sculleries and laundries feature in every apartment, and are fitted out with quality European appliances. There are also two fully tiled bathrooms in each apartment, one being an ensuite to the master.

There’s no getting away from the fact that Redmond St can be a busy thoroughfare at peak times. So how did the architect deal with the noise factor?

“Concrete is a very good sound insulator, and we’ve used a lot of concrete in the design of this building,” he says. “Also, all the windows are double-­glazed and the aluminium shutters on the decks provide a further layer of insulation.” Feature canopies above the retail outlets on the ground floor also provide some psychological separation from the street, he adds.

The location of this boutique development is also a key factor to its desirability, being just a short walk to the bars and restaurants along Ponsonby and Jervois Roads. At weekends, you can walk down to Auckland’s waterfront within 15 minutes, and the CBD in just over 20. It really is in prime position.

Given the intensification that must and will happen in our city fringe suburbs, The Redmond offers a well-considered solution that both satisfies the need to downscale and, at the same time, maintain a high level of design and internal finishes, befitting of living in one of Auckland’s most affluent postcodes.

Just one of these four apartments remains available for purchase. Tony Warren & Matt Johnson at Ray White Ponsonby have the exclusive agency on this property. Give them a call today on 021845252 or 0272436831

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