This 11,400m2 residential site in Frankton with its scenic backdrop offers an innovative solution to meet Queenstown's now urgent demand for affordable housing. The raised ground floor with car parking and storage underneath, generates 46 dwellings per hectare (as compared to standard NZ suburban densities of 15-25 dwellings per hectare). The ‘condensed’ nature of the development, that compares the 78 apartments, to a 12m wide stacked stone wall, allows much of this Frankton gateway site to be landscaped and generously planted as open parkland while also offering a graduated scale of occupant seclusion; ranging from the most private; large 10m2 sleeping spaces grouped in fours around 35m2 central living rooms which open out to the more communual access terraces facing the Remarkables. The movement of users along external stairs behind a full height mesh façade, created by artist Simon Morris, make a dynamic constantly reforming pattern to passersby. Design precedents include the Sejima Gifu Kitagata project in Japan and the Pompidou Centre in Paris by Rogers & Piano.
The long building follows the edge of an existing historic water race and the eroded glacial hill behind is exposed through a series of elevated ‘Sky Terraces’ that add distinctive local character as well as communual BBQ facilities to the overall design. The scale which sits well in the grandeur of the Wakitipu Basin plus the modular nature of the repetitivefour-bedroom units coupled with simple tectonic aesthetics contribute to 98m2 dwellings affordability.