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Auckland design competition for medium density housing

Media release – Tuesday 20 May, 2014


Auckland design competition seeks exemplary models of medium density housing

Responding to Auckland’s housing shortage and to concerns about the quality of medium-density housing in the ever-growing city, the New Zealand Institute of Architects is partnering with Ockham Residential to run a design competition for a multi-unit residential development in a mixed-use area in inner-city Eden Terrace.

“Auckland urgently requires more medium-density housing,” says Pip Cheshire, President of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, “and Aucklanders have to be convinced that this type of housing can be produced to a good standard.”

Cheshire notes that the Auckland Housing Accord agreed by the Council and the Government calls for more than 30,000 new dwellings in Special Housing Areas, and that many of these homes will be apartments and townhouses out of necessity.

“A range of well-designed, infill residential projects are vital to promote community understanding and acceptance of higher density housing types in suburban locations.”

“It’s important that we – the Council, developers and architects – don’t just tell the public about the need for medium density housing, but that we show that this housing model can be successfully integrated into selected neighbourhoods.”

“We need to tap into the creativity of New Zealand’s architects to design smaller, well-designed homes that are more socially and environmentally sustainable.”

For these reasons, Cheshire says, the New Zealand Institute of Architects is pleased to work with Ockham Residential, a company with a strong record in the development of innovative, high-quality medium density housing projects in Auckland’s inner suburbs. The design competition is for a multi-unit development site in Akepiro Street, near the city end of Dominion Road.

The competition, which calls for a design for a minimum of 25 apartments, will be judged by leading architects Richard Goldie (Peddle Thorp), Maggie Carroll (Bureaux), and Marshall Cook (Cook Sargisson & Pirie), together with Ockham Residential director Mark Todd and Auckland Council’s Jacques Victor. The winner will be commissioned by Ockham Residential to complete the design and realisation of the project.

Ockham Residential’s Mark Todd says he looks forward to seeing the visions that New Zealand architects have for his company’s site.

“There is so much potential here,” Todd says. “We are determined to produce an excellent building that will enhance the sense of community and complement the neighbourhood through the quality of its design and construction.”

“We want to embrace the future of our city by adhering to the framework of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, and complement Auckland Council’s plans and strategies. The winning design must establish positive relationships with surrounding public areas such as an adjoining road reserve and local park.”

“We couldn’t think of a better way to encourage creativity than to offer a commission for the best design idea for this space.”

Auckland mayor Len Brown has expressed his support for the design competition.

“It’s fantastic to see the private sector getting behind efforts to improve the quality of design in Auckland,” Brown says. “This is a great opportunity to show how good urban design can enhance the liveability of an area and to set a new standard for urban developments in Auckland.”

Interested applicants may download the competition brief from the New Zealand Institute of Architects website:

Interested parties can register their interest by emailing by 26 May, 2014.

The competition will proceed in two stages. First stage submissions are to be received no later than 4pm, Wednesday 18 June, 2014. The winner will be announced on 12 August, 2014.


Notes to editors:

The Akepiro Street design competition will be split into two stages:

• Stage 1 will be at concept design level.

• Stage 2 will be limited to the top five entrants from Stage 1, as determined by the competition jury.

Stage 1 of this Architectural Design Competition is open to all New Zealand resident architects and architectural graduates

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