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Architects respond to Auckland’s housing challenge

5 August 2014

Architects respond to Auckland’s housing challenge

More than 60 architectural concepts from a competition to design an exemplary apartment building for a ‘brownfield’ site in Mt Eden will go on display at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki from 10 August until 12 August.

The medium density housing project will be sited on Akepiro Street, a cul-de-sac overlooking the rail line near the Dominion Road flyover that falls within one of Auckland Council’s proposed Special Housing Areas, the districts slated for more intensive residential development.

The competition was organised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects in partnership with developer Ockham Residential and with the support of Auckland Council.

Pip Cheshire, President of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, says the competition and exhibition are opportunites to inform the public about a housing type that is needed in New Zealand’s largest city but which has encountered some scepticism.

“A range of well-designed, infill residential projects is vital to promote community understanding and acceptance of higher density in selected urban areas, which is one of the aims of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan,” Cheshire says.

“The large number of entries received in the Akepiro Street competition is proof of architects’ interest in and commitment to the development of housing models that meet the demands of a more populous city while offering a healthy and comfortable quality of life.”

Cheshire says the exhibition, which presents a wide range of creative responses to the competition brief, will also give the public an insight into the architectural design process.

Mayor Len Brown says that the competition is a timely and important contribution to the housing discussion.

“There will be one million extra Aucklanders within the next 30 years. We have to ensure affordable, quality, sustainable housing options for our growing population if we are to continue on the path to becoming the world’s most liveable city.”

“Ensuring we have high quality homes will also help to ensure increased intensification is done well, to a high standard, and that it will be sensitive to local environments. I applaud everyone who has taken part in this competition for being part of that solution.”

Mark Todd, director of Ockham Residential, says the impetus for the competition arose from the overlapping concerns of the Institute of Architects, Auckland Council and his company.

“Everyone knows the pressures on the housing market at the moment, but we think there needs to be a wider conversation about the quality of new homes and buildings that go up in the city,” Todd says.

“For this reason, I’m really pleased the Institute of Architects and the Council came on board with this competition. I encourage as many people as possible to come and visit the exhibition.”

“They can see for themselves that, with good design, apartment living is an attractive oprion for Aucklanders.”

The winner of the Akepiro Street design competition will be announced at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki on Tuesday 12 August at 3pm. The winner will work with Ockham Residential, owner of the site at 11 Akepiro Street in Mt Eden, to develop the design into a completed building.

Competition entries will be displayed in the Gallery’s North Atrium.

• 64 teams submitted conceptual design plans for Stage 1 of the Akepiro Street Design Competition compeition
• The competition judges selected 5 entries to take part in Stage 2 of the competition
• Those teamßs further developed their Stage 1 ideas for presentation to the judges
• The judges are: Richard Goldie (PeddleThorp Archiects – chair); Maggie Carroll (Bureaux Architects); Marshall Cook (Cook Sargisson Pirie); Mark Todd (Ockham Residential); Jacques Victor (Auckland Council)
• The shortlisted teams are: Leuschke Group Architects; S3 Architects; Matthews & Matthews Architects; Waterfall Gunns Lowe Architects; Andrew Sexton Architecture
• The exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki will run from Sunday 10 August until Tuesday 12 August 2014
• Pip Cheshire, New Zealand Institute of Architects President, is available for comment


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