Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand
The high-profile brownfield site in Killarney Street, central Takapuna, is a fitting home for McConnell Clearmont’s first aged care project. Killarney Residences features 96 independent living, assisted living, and high-level care apartments, as well as associated administration and support facilities.
Ignite drew inspiration from internationally renowned health and wellness centres in creating the design of this light-filled and luxuriously-finished building. The development connects to the natural beauty around it and offers expansive views across Lake Pupuke, neighbouring Killarney Park, and out to Rangitoto and the Auckland cityscape.
Ignite’s extensive expertise in the aged care sector ensures Killarney Residences also offers an optimal care environment.
By working closely with the McConnell Clearmont team, the architects realised their vision of creating beautiful and comfortable spaces where the focus is on shared enjoyment, living and progressive care – and clinical processes are very much in the background.
McConnell Clearmont provided Ignite with a detailed guide to inform the design process. This draws upon Salutogenic theory, where well-designed built environments can enhance the wellbeing of users.
Additionally, Ignite’s design accords to the adaptability, accessibility, usability and safety standards required to achieve Lifemark certification.
SUPPORTING HOLISTIC MODELS OF CARE
Ignite’s design supports the clients leading-edge approach to aged care. Staff will engage with residents as though they are guests in their own homes. Residents will age in place, avoiding the traditional approach of their place of dwelling being dictated by the level of care required.
Clinical areas such as nurse stations, a common marker of traditional institutional hierarchy and structures, are dissolved. Surroundings are designed to feel warm and home-like to enhance the wellbeing of residents, rather than being a medical environment.
Shared spaces encourage and invite interaction, community and a sense of ownership, with residents making their own choices and enjoying meaningful activities.
Ignite’s design ensures Killarney Residences will be an asset to residents, and to the neighbourhood. It has a scale appropriate to the area and the building’s mass and height are downplayed through the use of proportion, composition and articulation.
Contemporary in design, Killarney Residences features a predominantly glazed façade. The two four-level apartment towers connect to a ground-level podium, which contains the reception area, communal facilities and a landscaped central courtyard.
The design reflects a careful consideration of the site and the surrounds. The key drivers for the external form are the relationship the building creates with the adjacent parkland, Killarney Street at the front, neighbouring residences and the wider Takapuna townscape.
It is fitting that Ignite’s design references the idea of light filtering through the tree canopy, taking inspiration from the established landscape surrounding the site. The ground floor is inset to express the solidity of a tree trunk, vertical columns and fins act as the branches, while the extended and low-profile roofline provides an enveloping canopy.
The building form is also appropriate to neighbouring two-storey homes, with its massing being composed to minimise the bulk and scale of the development. Killarney Residences is intentionally set into the ground at the western end of the site which, along with the low roof pitch, allows the development to sit comfortably within the residential character of the area.
The extensive use of glazing by the design team provides transparent interior spaces. This starts at the main entrance canopy, which cantilevers and floats over the front door. As a result, visitors to Killarney Residences are presented with striking views directly through the building into the rear-facing outdoor courtyard and out to Killarney Park. A glass walkway will run above the double-height reception area to connect the two apartment towers together.
The building’s massing is further broken up where the development fronts to Killarney Street. A substantial clear zone is created by vertical louvres across an inset glazed divide.
On the ground floor, Killarney Residences features a welcoming reception area offering concierge facilities, complete with a grand piano for residents to play. This flows through to a dining room, bar area, café zone and flexible communal spaces. GP and nurses’ rooms, a hair and nail salon, as well as a commercial kitchen and back-of-house facilities, are also offered.
High-level care apartments are located on the first and second floors, with the remainder of the building featuring assisted and independent living apartments.
The positioning of the ground-floor amenities creates activated zones within the building. Communal spaces, such as the lounge, are positioned to the eastern edge of the building nearest to Killarney Street. These will be multi-purpose areas that can be divided for intimacy or opened up to larger groups.
Spaces are always relatable. By offering glimpses into other communal areas, Ignite’s design invites residents to engage with each other or simply rest, relax and enjoy the scenic surrounds.
The vibrant casual café and dining zone takes prime position in the centre of the ground floor and brings together the best of Auckland’s thriving café culture. This connects through to the outdoors by leading to the green courtyard.
At the basement level, a pool and spa area offer spaces for relaxation and rehabilitation. A lightwell, inset in the courtyard above, greenery and a textured tile feature wall ensures this is a bright and welcoming area.
The basement area also accommodates approximately 60 car parks.
Luxe and spacious signature interiors maximise the panoramic views. A number of apartments also offer dual aspects of the lake and park. A range of one, two and three bedroom configurations are provided, with each featuring generous balcony spaces with frameless glass balustrades. A family suite thoughtfully offers accommodation for a small group of relatives needing to stay on-site.
All interior spaces have excellent natural lighting. Materials will be touchable and add a sense of warmth, in keeping with McConnell Clearmont’s vision to make Killarney Residences a home for life and living.
The design team have specified a restrained palette of materials selected for their timeless qualities. Sandstone tile cladding, powder coated aluminium screens, expressed steel and glazed elements will stand the test of time, style and trends.
The natural stone and screening elements add to the residential feel of the building, imbuing it with warmth and texture. The expressed steel structure and glazed elements provide contrast and balance.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
With some residents likely to have a level of visual, hearing, mobility or cognitive impairment, the design team have ensured this is a safe and secure building to live.
The building interiors offer an understandable, orienting layout that supports independent living. Residents are comforted by the familiar and can intuitively navigate around the different spaces.
Level entries, wide doorways and generous circulation zones ensure this is an inclusive, safe, secure and enjoyable place to call home. A limited material palette offers a pleasant aesthetic and avoids overstimulation and sensory confusion.