There used to be a stigma attached to multi tenancy dwellings, shapeless concrete boxes with the personality of a broken cinder block. Cold bland exteriors devoid of texture and lacking anything that looked even remotely attractive. But that was how we did it, designs that looked largely institutional and home to many of our people.
Now fast forward several decades and lose that frown, because things have changed and certainly for the better. Medium density dwellings are now designed around more than just function, because how they look is perhaps as important as how they work. To be able to arrive home and feel good about where you live is also a contributor to good mental health, so perhaps it adds a whole new dimension to ‘Healthy Homes’.
Constrained by space and a lack of suitable building sites means New Zealanders are building up more than ever before. As the limits of site and spatial constraints are pushed, structures that include external non-structural embellishments are being designed and built to help each one stand apart from the rest.
Spectrum has been working with architects and construction companies for a number of years supplying market leading aluminium facade solutions that make the ordinary look far from ordinary. They help to bring the architect's vision to life by working alongside them with a strong focus on collaboration and innovation.
Onehunga Bay Villas is an excellent example of how an urban industrial warehouse site can be re-purposed into a state-of-the-art residential complex that included a range of Spectrum designed and manufactured solutions. To transform the exterior they specified balustrade, louvres, pergolas, and entry canopies. The architects' vision was seamlessly executed by requesting a ‘family’ of facade design solutions that all worked well together.
A short drive from Onehunga Bay Villas is 1195 Dominion Road in Mt Roskill. A recently completed project for Kāinga Ora, this build again used a range of external facade elements with bold vertical lines that both delineated and combined the three-level dwelling. The result was a flowing design that provided a modern contemporary look with weather protection and privacy. Combining solid infills and vertical fins in the balustrade meant the tenants could enjoy the view, airflow, and privacy all at the same time.
Modern facade elements have evolved from products that were previously installed just to make a building look different, to products that now also serve a function, often around airflow and light transmission which are key factors in designing and building healthy homes.
South of the previous two properties in Takanini is Kāinga Ora’s Porchester Road development again combining a range of external facade elements with multiple colours and textures. Perforated solid aluminium sheet infills asymmetrically positioned provide privacy and link the lower and upper levels, whilst vertical fin balustrades provide additional light and a feeling of openness. The contrasting darker coloured full height louvres run from ground level to the roofline to deliver a bold and dramatic finish.
Buildings do not need to be boring and one of the easiest ways to achieve this is to add interesting cladding options and external facade elements. Spectrum works closely with architects and construction companies to ensure their vision can be delivered in the most cost effective and efficient way with products proudly designed and manufactured here in New Zealand.