Mixed use Housing Competition Architecture Workshop

AW Strategy 2 for Akepiro Street, Mixed-use Housing Competition

The Akepiro mixed-use housing competition will be exhibited at the Auckland Art Gallery from the 10th - 12th of August. Come along to the Salon des Refusés!

The most adventurous of our competition strategies (No. 2) incorporates the adjacent untended parkland and offers the chance for Auckland City to explore an innovative public / private delivery and a range of funding options.

Encompassing the adjoining unused council-owned land allows a single larger site to be formed. The advantage of this strategy is that it achieves a higher yield and mix of type via a dispersed and permeable built form, which is more integrated with the Norfolk Pine landscape.

On the ground, 16 car parks are provided along the southern edge of the site. To the north are workshops, which offer small business or commercial workspace (approx. 10% of the gross floor area). The proposed ceiling height of 6m provides the option of an adaptable mezzanine level. This type of workspace will complement the existing retail streets and add to the diversity of the neighbourhood. The use of the ground floor for commercial purposes is more appropriate if the surrounding landscape has public access through it. In urban design terms, this strategy compliments the transverse grain of the street and the northern orientation of the residential blocks provides a bookend to the whole site.

The 30 residential units are arranged in three blocks above these workspaces. Because of the high ratio of perimeter to floor area, each block has an excellent level of amenity for natural light, ventilation and visual aspect. All apartments have views in more than one direction. Between these blocks are alternating access gantries, which also act as north-facing terraces suspended amongst the trees. They offer residents a range of shared outdoor spaces with expansive views, excellent sunlight, while supplementing the more private open space allocated to each dwelling (as can be seen in Maison Eduard François La Closeraie, in Louviers France). Steel footbridges radiate off the access tower to provide access to the individual dwellings.

The contrast between the robust quality of the blocks and the comparatively lightweight structure of the circulation will create opportunities for spatial interest and delight. Both structural types will be comprised of repeat elements to increase construction efficiency. All apartment blocks are 6.0m wide with opportunity for precast modular construction.

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