Inspiration for a new $1 million-plus Wynyard Quarter apartment display suite near Auckland's waterfront came from a Seattle urban regeneration promotion hub.
Mark McGuinness, managing director of developer Willis Bond, said he saw the large structure, promoting the redevelopment scheme by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, in the Washington State city.
McGuinness was impressed with how that told the story of an area's renewal and he saw the need for a smaller-scale building in Auckland's regenerating former industrial western city hub to show interiors and exteriors of the first of 600 new apartments in the area.
See a promotional video showing the Halsey Street apartment plan here:
So Architectus director Patrick Clifford was commissioned to design the stark, black, west-facing, glass-fronted building, constructed by Hayden & Rollett and able to be moved within the Wynyard precinct as various sites are developed progressively.
"It's based on this concept we saw about one and a half years ago in Seattle. We thought it was something we could learn from. It will be open for some years because it will be moved in three bits, or as one," McGuinness said.
Inside the three-bay portable suite at the Daldy St/Madden St corner are mock-ups of 132 Halsey looking across the water to the Viaduct Basin and Wynyard Central, a multi-unit block in the precinct's centre.
Willis Bond won the right to build 17 blocks in the area, comprising up to 600 apartments and about 800 carparks.
But none of the apartments can be classified as affordable.
"The Wynyard Quarter has always been about high-quality design and amenity for Auckland and affordable housing has a different objective and location than the waterfront," McGuinness said.
"We don't know what the top price will be for 132 Halsey, which has penthouses with decks and will be more than 300sq m, but they'll comfortably go for in excess of $5 million."
See a promotional video showing the Wynyard Central apartment plan here:
A nine-screen live wall TV panel is screening an animated fly-through of the scheme and Willis Bond project director Roger Twose said the film was made by Buildmedia, which also made the popular Auckland International Airport 30-year masterplan.
Twose said 36 pre-sales had already been made but Willis Bond won't take $1000 deposits, as many other apartment sales businesses do. People can either pay 10 per cent of the full price or use a bond from the bank which ensures payment once construction is finished.
First Wynyard Apartments
• 7-level Halsey St block opposite waterfront.
• Ground-floor retail, 51 apartments, 84 carparks.
• Starting price: just under $2m.
• Designed by Athfield Architects.
• 10-level block on Daldy/Madden St corner.
• Ground-floor retail, 113 apartments, 157 carparks.
• Starting price: about $550,000.
• Designed by Architectus.
- Source: Willis Bond