In 1986 I was approached by a developer to design three townhouses on a narrow, and small (900m) section in one of Auckland's most prestigeous streets - Victoria Avenue in Remuera. The site offered distant glimpses of the harbour from the upper storeys, but the design of three large townhouses on such a small site was a difficult task. Add to this the inevitable question of "style" in a street that has some of the city's most affected houses - from Mock Tudor, through English Cottage to Mexican Hacienda and the issue becomes bewildering. I chose, with the encouragement of the client, to design a board and batten corbelled style reminiscent of the English Edwardian buildings to be found in the suburb, using the cantilevered upper story to minimise foundation costs while still maximising space. I wanted to buildings to "fit in" to the existing character rather than to make a modernist statement.
Site coverage was within inches of the limits imposed by Council but so too are the respective heights of each unity. The site is built to the maximum possible. Accommodating all of this (double garage, three bedrooms, walk-in closets, en suite bathrooms and luxurious kitchens and living areas) into a design that appeared modest was a formidable task. I consider that I did well with the final design. All three were built for $1.2 million and they sold quickly at a significant profit. All in all, I believe that the site is overbuilt but the client was satisfied and the market proved him right, from an economic standpoint.
Same scheme seen from the South East
I preferred these designs to those finally chosen by the client. They were rejected for cost considerations.
Model of the final units seen from the North East
Model of the final units seen from the East
View of the Units from the South East
View of the Units from the North East
View from the North West Living Room/Courtyard
The complex seen from the North East.