Project : Karori Modular
Chaytor Street is the main road to the suburb of Karori, an established suburban area of Wellington 2 km due west of the Wellington CBD. The site is a vacant 1023 square metre plot on a south-facing bank on the corner of the escarpment and an open stream. After only 4-5 metres of flat land the remainder is made up of a steep south facing bank with a consistent 40 degree slope. In order to provide a building site we propose to remove 2,025 cubic metres of the bank closest to Chaytor Street to create a flat stepped building platform of about 500 square metres. Despite a zoning of outer residential, the site already has one high-density neighbour, but is otherwise isolated (not surrounded by houses) and is very close to shops and public transport. A multi-unit housing development in this location is therefore well suited, and our brief was to maximise this potential.
The project proposes two new apartment buildings with 9 dwelling units of between 2 and 3 bedrooms in size. The buildings will enhance the streetscape, adding buildings with similar scale and density to its southern neighbour. Individual units are orientated away from the existing apartments, with the living areas facing east and west, which is appropriate due to the topography of site as this elevates these over the gully to the east and valley to the west offering each unit privacy. The use of offshore built modular building elements for the apartments means a repeated building element. However modular apartment units have been offset and rotated forms through the storeys meaning open all-glass elevations toward the east and west aspects are achieved without a continuous wall of glass. The pre-fabricated building-form is therefore individually oriented to accentuate volumes and individual sense of ownership for tenants. A simple vertical screen element creates privacy with a vertical timber-like elements which juxtaposes nicely against the simple horizontal weatherboard-like cladding that wraps the modular apartment units.