Project scope: three new apartments on top of an existing heritage building
Client: Luit and Jan Beiringa
Construction cost: NZ $1.0M +gst
Builder procurement: shortlisted tender contractor_Field and Hall Ltd
Consultancy services: AW lead consultant, all design stages including project management with structural consultants, Ian Smith and Partners
Design personnel involved: James Fenton, Nigel Gilkinson, Mike Orsman, David Grenfell, Tom Daniel, Steven Lloyd, Martin Walton, Richard Field, Christopher Kelly
Japanese architect Yamamoto regards the city as topography. Over a fragmented man-made landscape, he defines contemporary architecture as a new layer over the existing landscape. Here three contemporary apartments on top of an historic building give us a new urban horizon over the city rooftop topography. This project encompasses both the refurbishment of ‘the topography’ - an existing three storey 1906 mercantile building - and the addition of 3 new apartments, emerging from behind the parapets of the old. Privacy decreases up a vertical gradient with a corresponding increase in transparency at the upper levels. The rigor of the plan is consistent with the restrained palette of materials - compressed sheet, steel and glass - used to define the new layer of architecture. Four outdoor volumes have been created for each apartment, from what is essentially a small footprint of 78m2: a sheltered south-east facing courtyard behind the old parapet; a west-facing deck suspended above the apartment entrance, taking in the urban roof-top topography; an internal double-height wintergarden; and a high level studio deck for the big harbour view.
“The Wakefield St Apartments explicitly claim inner city Wellington as their site. They deal with their relationship to the city by placing themselves overtly within it. The corner apartment, in particular, flaunts its architecture in a very public location… at night it becomes a kind of domestic light-box, or a magic lantern.”
- Justine Clarke and Paul Walker, Houses for the 21st Century, Pesaro Publishing 2003
NZIA Regional Architecture Award, 2002
NZIA Branch Architecture Award, 2001
Gross, J. (2007, December/January). Rising above it all: 282 Wakefield Street Apartments. Dwell. (7). pp. 156-163
Romeo, F. (2004, September). Tutti sul tetto (282 Wakefield Street Apartments: N.Z. super attico. Case da Abitare. (80).pp. 200-205.
Kelly, C. et al. (2002, January/February). On top of Things. Architecture New Zealand. p. 18-24