Beaumont Quarter medium-density housing revisited

Ten years’ on, a medium-density mixed-use housing area in central Auckland is upheld as a good example of housing due to its architectural diversity and strong landscape design.

The 2.4-hectare Beaumont Quarter was developed on a former gasworks site between 2001 and 2006. It currently features as a case study in the Auckland Design Manual.

“I was extremely excited to work on a project that would redevelop such an historic site into what was, at the time, a very forward-thinking design in terms of reusing heritage buildings and developing medium-density housing,” says Chris Bentley, landscape architect who managed Boffa Miskell’s input to the project.

Boffa Miskell worked with Studio Pacific Architects and Terrain for client, Melview Developments, to produce the master plan and detailed designs, and to supervise the construction. Several architectural firms designed 33 different housing types within the 238-unit development. Building heights, features and materials were varied to create attractive and interesting forms. A choice of terraced housing and apartments, of varied size, was included to attract a diverse range of residents. The first stage of the Beaumont Quarter received an architecture award from the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 2003.

Chris worked on the master plan and was specifically responsible for designing the public realm, including the pedestrian-friendly streetscapes and the distinctive visual identity based on heritage features such as the refurbished gasworks buildings and existing large trees. Available space was optimised by incorporating car parking into basements.

Chris worked with quantity surveyors to find cost-effective design solutions that would deliver within budget the client’s desire for a sophisticated, modern environment. For instance, the limestone chip used in the courtyards instead of hard paving achieved a light contemporary look with significant cost savings.

“After 10 years, this is still one of the best examples of urban regeneration and medium-density housing in New Zealand,” Chris believes. The design certainly lived up to the client’s expectations at the time of completion and is still a great example of a well-designed housing development in an inner-city environment. It exemplifies the kind of housing development that the city is now striving towards after the release of the Auckland Unitary Plan this year.

For further information please contact Chris Bentley

10 November 2016