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Construction starts on NZ's highest residential building

Construction starts on New Zealand’s highest residential building

Construction is now underway on Seascape Apartments, which will be the highest residential building in New Zealand, only exceeded in height by the Sky Tower. When it is complete, the 52-storey Seascape Apartments will transform the Auckland skyline.

At a height of 187 metres, the visually striking Seascape Apartments will be 15 metres higher than the current Vero Building and 9 metres higher than the proposed Pacifica apartment building in the CBD.

A ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of the construction will take place on Wednesday 28 February.

Seascape Apartments and two existing adjacent buildings on Customs Street East is a development by New Zealand-based property company Shundi Customs. Seascape Apartments was designed by architects Peddle Thorp, with Mott Macdonald as engineers. China Construction New Zealand is responsible for the building works.

Seascape will house 221 apartments, offering elegant inner-city accommodation to alleviate the pressure on Auckland’s strapped housing market. The apartments will all be north-facing, with expansive sea views. The top 6 floors will be taken up by penthouse apartments, offering 360-degree views over the city and environs.

“When it’s complete in 2021, Seascape Apartments will not only be the highest residential building in New Zealand but will also set a new standard for luxury living,” says Harrison Shao, General Manager of Shundi Customs. “Seascape will bring more residents into the heart of the city and provide them with an unprecedented level of comfort and convenience, as well as truly magnificent seascapes.”

Mr Shao says marketing activities for Seascape will start before the end of the year. The sales process won’t commence until halfway through the construction to demonstrate a higher level of fit-out quality and provide more confidence to purchasers than selling off plans.

The lower levels of Seascape Apartments will include a leisure and fitness centre with a pool, spa and gym. The public will have free access to three floors of retail and restaurants at the base of the tower. The building will extend five levels (16m) below the surface, providing more than 200 car-parks for residents.

At ground level, a laneway will link Seascape Apartments with the CBD and Britomart precinct.

The high aspirations for Seascape Apartments required top-end engineering and design solutions. For instance, to achieve unobstructed north-facing harbour views from each apartment, the tower was designed with an external structural steel frame in a visually appealing diamond pattern. Among its advanced engineering features is the first distributed viscous damping system in Australasia. This is an effective way to provide drift control in tall buildings, enhancing structural integrity and occupant comfort.

Other site developments

Seascape Apartments is one of three integrated elements Shundi Customs is developing in the 2,729m2 block bordered by Fort Street, Gore Street and Customs Street East.

The complete Shundi Customs development project also includes the refurbishment, re-cladding, conversion and seismic strengthening of the 12-storey office building on the corner of Fort Street and Customs Street East. This will become the boutique San He Yuan Hotel that provide integrated service to the residents as well. Work on the 4.5-star hotel will start in August this year and should be completed in tandem with Seascape Apartments in 2021.

At the same time, the heritage Britomart Hotel – a public house dating from 1876 – on the corner of Gore Street and Customs Street East will be refurbished and renovated for commercial use. The development plan for this building is in the final stages of being finalised.

“As a collection, the buildings in this precinct have been designed to complement each other. Together, they represent an inviting and elegant development that enhances the neighbourhood and Auckland skyline, offering much needed high quality residential development to the central city,” says Bradley Luke, director of Peddle Thorpe architects.


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