In a country that is known for building either high-rise or low-rise, Beaumont Quarter has been recognised as a benchmark project for medium-density development, introducing a European design that gives priority to pedestrians with a dense network of pedestrian pathways and small squares. Studio Pacific Architecture developed the masterplan and was also the architect of Stage 1. Studio Woodroffe Papa were commissioned to design Stage 2 and the Sydney-based architect Ian Moore designed Stage 3.
For us, the main challenge came from the site’s topography. The sloping site sits opposite Victoria Park at the foot of an escarpment overlooking Waitemata Harbour. Once the old harbour front, the escarpment is considered of historical importance. The cliff face could not be re-modelled and all existing trees along the escarpment had to be retained.
The project is bound together by a new public space: a boardwalk that moves from Victoria Park through the site along one edge of our row housing and then climbs up and along the cliff, connecting new housing to the street network below.
Studio Woodroffe Papa re-interpreted the traditional villa and terraced-housing models in the design of four house types: the Cliff-hanger, the Leapfrog, the ZigZag and the Saddlebag. These are shaped by the different and often contradictory forces on and around the site. Providing natural light, views and privacy while protecting the houses from the noise of the nearby motorway, was a priority. Special attention was also paid to achieving an active street frontage, organising direct access to parking and creating large houses with minimum footprints to ensure a balance of open and built space along the cliff and around the existing trees.