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  • Case Study AUDP The Issac

    Case study: AUDP The Issac Print

    Overview

    Sitting on the Surrey Crescent ridge, the Isaac apartment development provides an example of high density living achieved with careful attention to detail.  By embracing the access-way that runs through the middle of the site, the development’s design has succeeded in not only creating a collection of buildings but more importantly, in creating a place.

    Project Summary

    ​​​​​​​​​​​Ockham Residential had an objective to create a new precedent for apartment living in Auckland on the Grey Lynn site. This initiative sought to achieve Ockham Residential’s objective of delivering apartment developments of enviable quality that exemplified their three cornerstone philosophies:
    • ​Our buildings will be well detailed and clearly residential in their appearance
    • We aim to create buildings that appeal to the majority of the public
    • We will only incorporate well proven, durable, low maintenance building materials in the execution of our projects
    The potential of a 3571m² brown-field site located strategically in the heart of Grey Lynn provided Ockham Residential with a rare development opportunity. 
    Being surrounded by a diverse mix of land uses, including The Surrey Apartments; Grey Lynn school; a crèche; St. Columba church; and some substantial commercial buildings, both historic and modern; offered the challenge to explore an apartment design that would both complement the existing, and contribute to the emerging, character of this part of Surrey Crescent. 

    Each of the three apartment buildings has their own entrance and the buildings benefit from communal roof-top open spaces and shared residents’ lounges which, due to the development’s location on the Surrey Crescent ridge line, boast panoramic views of Auckland and the Waitemata Harbour.
    The site has a substantial 53m frontage to Surrey Crescent, which provides a transition from public to private areas of the development by including generous active commercial spaces at street level. Also, prior subdivision of the site incorporated a right of way through the middle of the site along the north-south axis, creating a lane that gives vehicle access to the basement car parking entrances and to existing rear lot commercial activities. Consequently, vehicular movements are limited to a relatively small portion of the site and the central apartments gain both outlook over the lane and exposure to sunlight.
    The brief was to create a residential micro-community along the lane and provide a pedestrian friendly environment.  
    The Isaac is a four storey, predominantly residential, mixed use development, named after Sir Isaac Newton, with each building recognising Newton’s three laws of motion. The three buildings comprise 75 apartments, ranging from one to three bedrooms, two commercial spaces at ground level fronting onto Surrey Crescent and basement car parking. Each of the three apartment buildings has their own entrance and the buildings benefit from communal roof-top open spaces and shared residents’ lounges which, due to the development’s location on the Surrey Crescent ridge line, boast panoramic views of Auckland and the Waitemata Harbour. Apartments are freehold, including the rear building which is leased to tenants by Ockham Residential.
    Ockham Residential expressed a desire to present the proposal to the urban design panel at an early stage in the design process, in order to benefit from the urban design panel’s assessment and recommendations before substantially refining the project.
    The urban design panel’s response to the draft design in November 2011 was supportive, with a caveat of improvements recommended. The urban design panel’s advice focused on improving amenity of apartments, carefully testing shading impacts on the adjoining primary school, design detail of the central lane and improvements to how the ground floor commercial spaces addressed the street.

    Key recommendations that were addressed over time included: improvements in apartment layout, reduced impact from the building on the neighbouring school, façade design, landscape design, improvement of pedestrian focused space, and improved accessibility.
    Creating a high quality exterior played an important part in the design of The Isaac and the materials used reference a number of neighbouring buildings. 
    The Isaac is clad in traditional red brickwork similar to that of the neighbouring St. Columba Church, as well as contemporary precast concrete panels similar to those used on The Surrey apartments opposite.  

    Following presentations to the Auckland Urban Design Panel, extensive and lengthy discussions were held in good faith between the developer and Council staff, including the urban design team, to ensure that the recommendations of the Urban Design Panel were achieved. This helped to ensure that the building is an asset for the city into the future.
    We are proud that the best position on the site is provided as shared space; rooftop communal lounges and outdoor space. In any apartment building, there is a hierarchy of space and this model ensures that everyone has access to some of the best spaces, views, and amenity. This genuine community amenity is prioritised in the buildings and sets a new recognition of contemporary cultural shifts where apartment living can support a micro-community, rather than simply house individuals. 
    Ockham Residential’s commitment to designing for the site and neighbourhood context has created a development which enhances the public realm and creates a presence that is an exemplar for residential apartment design in Auckland. This project is a clear expression of Ockham Residential’s desire to have The Isaac fit elegantly in its neighbourhood and their overall commitment to good design that drove the project from a conceptual stage through to the form, materiality, and fine detailing of the finished buildings. 
    The Isaac development is an excellent example of synergy between the private sector and the goals and aspirations of Council.
    The Isaac development is an excellent example of synergy between the private sector and the goals and aspirations of Council. It provides a large number of high quality residential units near readily-available public transport alternatives, all within a practical walking distance to employment and recreation opportunities.​
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