COUNTRY CLUB HUAPAI
Huapai, New Zealand
Located in Huapai, West Auckland, this high-end aged care development will involve the construction of 40 buildings over 57,000m². Ignite was tasked by the client with the master planning and architectural design of the six hectare semi-rural site, which was previously the home of the Nobilo winery and bottling plant.
Ignite took inspiration from the site’s vineyard heritage in creating the design of one, two and three bedroom apartments and villas, and assisted care facilities. The development will total 325 accommodation units.
As befitting the name, the Country Club Huapai will create an idyllic and elegant country club setting. Villas and apartments will provide independent living, and are placed throughout the site to complement the site’s contours. Each will be spacious and feature a high-end fit-out.
In master planning the site, the design team have incorporated a variety of building forms. These are predominantly north-facing, with outdoor areas to the west to capture the afternoon sun.
An intentionally-restrained material palette will create cohesion and connection. White bagged brick and cedar cladding, timber louvres and black aluminium joinery will feature throughout. All the buildings will have gabled stand and seam metal roofs as another reference to the site’s vineyard history.
An amenities building will be located in the centre of the site. The main entry features a grand double-height reception area, leading into a café-cum-restaurant with a commercial-grade kitchen. Luxurious lounge, games and bar areas will also be offered. The three levels above feature apartments and flexible communal areas, which could be used as meeting, games or movie rooms, or as library and reading spaces.
Two three-level wings branch off the amenities building. Apartments and a leading-edge wellness centre (with facilities including a pool, spa, physio room and hairdresser) are located to the north and west outlooks. The assisted care facilities lie to the south, with a separate entrance.
Other features include campervan parking bays, basement and garage parking facilities, commercial-grade service and laundry facilities, generous sized balconies, as well as rainwater tanks for most villas. Sustainable practices are inherently incorporated into the design.
APPLYING BEST-PRACTICE MODELS OF CARE
Ignite has applied best-practice models of care in developing the design of the Country Club Huapai.
Each room will allow for passive surveillance, with a pleasant view of the surrounds or a common area to encourage a feeling of activity and community. The main amenities building will act as a central hub and gathering space for residents.
The generously-sized dining area, seating approx 120 people, will connect to green courtyards where outdoor activities such as pétanque are planned. The lounge and flexible leisure areas will encourage further interaction between residents.
An active lifestyle will be encouraged by green walkways leading throughout the site. These will be oversized to allow for mobility scooter use. Shared space paths on the perimeters of the site will ensure pedestrian connectivity, while strategically-placed narrower roads will naturally control vehicle speeds.
The villas and communal green spaces provide areas for residents to garden.
Ignite have worked closely with local Council and regional local board in developing the ideal solution for the site and its location.
The Country Club Huapai borders a main road, a secondary road, a railway line and a handful of commercial properties. Ignite’s master plan minimises the impact of this busy surrounding environment through the careful placement of buildings within the site. It also minimises the apparent scale of the development and its impact on neighbouring residential properties.
The design takes full advantage of the sloping site, which gradually descends 20 metres from its top end. Some earthworks will occur to excavate basement parking areas, as well as soften the site’s natural contours to ensure the development is fully wheelchair accessible.
Ignite has worked with landscape consultants to develop plans for green corridors adjacent to the rail line, along with formal gardens, native planting and water features to create natural screening and a sense of serenity. Space for a pond will be created which will act as a channel for stormwater during rainy weather, as well as providing a pleasant view.