Uku Apartments

Construction

Project
Accommodation / Residential

Location
Cnr Hobsonville Point Road and Squadron Drive, 
Hobsonville

Client
Ngai Tahu Property

Value
$22 Million

Period
15 Months

Consultants
Architects /
Context Architects

Structural /
Babbage Consultants

Mechanical /
Cosgroves

The ‘Uku’ neighbourhood is one half of the larger Kerepeti Development at Hobsonville Point, which will ultimately cover almost two hectares over two sites, including laneways, green spaces and a diverse range of architecturally-designed homes to suit a mixed clientele. Sited opposite the local secondary school, Uku is the smaller, higher-density part of the Kerepeti equation, focused on a block of terraced housing and a six-storey apartment building with basement parking. 

Completed in late 2018 by Haydn & Rollett after a 20 month-build, the apartment building is the tallest structure to go up so far at Hobsonsville Point, but it’s not only its height that makes it so striking. Designed by Context Architects, the building is clad in brick – 93,000 bricks, to be precise, coloured red, white and grey, all of which had to be laid by hand. It goes without saying that this was a highly labour-intensive build, and sourcing enough reliable and skilled bricklayers in the Auckland market proved tesing. 

 

The other big challenge on the project involved ground conditions, with the building sited in a basin of soft clay. A lot of groundwater was pumped during the winter of 2017, and a lot of gumboots were lost.  

Internally, the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are finished to three different levels. In addition to standard apartments and Axis Series apartments (for the affordable housing market), about a third of the 56 apartments have been retained by client Ngai Tahu Property for long-term rental, and feature particularly hardwearing finishes – vinyl flooring, for example, as well as enamel shower trays and stainless steel benches, all selected for their durability and easy maintenance.