Northbridge Lifecare Trust is a not-for-profit organisation with a commitment to provide affordable housing options for the aging population. They were founded on a "care for life" principle, hence their 5.8ha retirement village in Northcote, Auckland provides a full continuum of care, from independent living and serviced suite through to dementia and hospital care. The V Apartments is the first project in a multiple-stage redevelopment plan to rejuvenate the village. Completed in mid-2018, the building is a luxury accommodation providing 31 high-end independent living units over 5 storeys. It also houses a day pavilion, swimming pool, gymnasium, movie theatre, as well as secure basement parking.
One of the main design challenges faced by the project was the steep, narrow strip of site on which it occupies, bounded by two private roads on the campus. To ensure that good outdoor amenity is provided, the building takes on a narrow footprint, enabled by the use of single-loaded apartment typology. This typology allows each unit to be dual-aspect, maximising vista and daylight received, which in turn provides a high quality of living.
The narrow site and its proximity to other sites on the campus means the length of the V Apartments is rarely viewed in its entirety. This formed our early design thinking when formulating the facade of the building, focusing our energy on creating framed moments of beauty which could be appreciated when one traverses the length of the building, both externally and internally.