You know a new apartment building is going to be something special when it passes Colin Leuschke's "mother-in-law" test.

The acclaimed architect, who has designed Jervois and Lawrence in Herne Bay, says the build is going to be such exemplary quality he would be "seriously happy for one of my relatives to live there. I'd even been happy for my mother-in-law to buy one."

The five-level, 28-apartment block on the corner of Jervois Rd and Lawrence St will provide buyers with luxurious homes will that become a benchmark for the blue-chip suburb, says Bryan Perrow, development manager of Synergy Development Group.

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Jervois and Lawrence is something of a departure for Herne Bay, which apart from a couple of tower blocks built in the 1980s, has very little in the way of higher density housing.

Colin says agreeing to be the lead architect on the project came with a huge amount of responsibility.

"You have a responsibility to your client because they have a profit motive, but you also have a responsibility to the purchasers to make sure they get value for money, and that the building meets their expectations," he says.

"You also have a responsibility to the neighbourhood. Greater density doesn't have to mean loss of quality — in fact, it's quite the opposite.

"The main thrust is placing a new artifact into a well-established and much-loved suburb and making sure it has the quality and stature that will reflect well for a very long time.

"It's very important to make sure the building isn't today's wonder and tomorrow's disaster."

The exterior includes stone cladding to reflect the permanence and gravitas of the building. Colin was careful to make sure the south side of the development, which faces Jervois Rd, has a "living face" and doesn't just look like the back of the building, and that it turns the corner "beautifully" into Lawrence St, where the entrance is.

Colin also designed the building to take full advantage of the elevated, north-facing ridgeline site. The northern side has wonderful harbour views, and large balconies to make the most of the outlook, while there are also glimpses of the sea from other parts of the building.

There are two parts to Jervois and Lawrence — the seaward-facing northern half and the street-side southern half — which are joined by an atrium that provides extra light for all the apartments and will have a Japanese garden.

There are a range of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, including four north-facing penthouses, that feature different layouts and will appeal to a variety of buyers.

Some have second living rooms and studies, while "winter rooms" that can be opened up to enjoy the warm weather are a feature in some.

For the interiors, Synergy brought in Stewart Harris of Macintosh Harris. "Stewart lives in the area and he normally only works on high-end, multimillion-dollar homes, but this development stood out to him and he wanted to be involved," says Bryan. "We were very lucky to have him on board — his interior design is outstanding."

The apartments will be infused with the timeless elegance Stewart is known for, with classic styling and features like herringbone wooden floors in the kitchens and living rooms. He has chosen the fixtures and fittings — right down to light switches.

Appliances in the kitchen include top-of-the-range Gaggenau, while the design is Italian-inspired. Bathrooms have porcelain by Villeroy & Boch and tapware by Hansgrohe.

Jervois and Lawrence expected to be completed October 2020.

Jervois & Lawrence, Jervois Rd, Herne Bay
• A range of apartments in a luxury development on the corner of Jervois Rd and Lawrence St in Herne Bay. A few minutes' drive or a short bus trip to the CBD. Surrounded by popular shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. A short walk down the road to Sentinel and Home Bay Beaches.
• Options: 28 apartments spread over 5 levels, ranging in size from 71sq m to 297sq m. Prices start at $1.5 million for one bedroom apartments and $1.8 million for two bedrooms. Three bedroom apartments and penthouses are also offered. Storage cupboards are available for all apartments in the basement and there are 49 carparks available for the 28 apartments.
• Body corp: Starting from $2,600 a year.
• Inspect: Display suite open daily from 11am-2pm at 218 Jervois Rd.
• Schools: Bayfield School, Ponsonby Intermediate, Auckland Girls' Grammar, Western Springs College.
• Contact: Peter Tanner, 021 379 379, Bayleys, and Robyn Clark 021 707 529.