Back to front: Mixing it up in Ponsonby
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Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/1552
What is a sensitive development and urban design strategy for a vacant corner site and heritage building in Ponsonby; a character suburb of Auckland? This research project focuses on issues of sensitive redevelopment of heritage buildings, in conjunction with their immediate vicinity. New Zealand has been slow to understand the importance of historic buildings and this was a particular point of interest. The study investigated utilisation of New Zealand’s Edwardian and Victorian shop buildings in the past, and their potential in the future, especially as both the buildings and land on which they are situated become more valuable. The Ponsonby site includes a typical Edwardian building (GPK Building) and a neighbouring 1960’s building. An initial study determined the future of each of these buildings. The project aimed to improve both the site and its surrounding area. An urban design proposition was created and an interesting programme for the building was generated. The building includes subsidized housing for various creative professionals; with the mixed-use also helping to enhance the community. The redevelopment strategy is to increase the rentable floor area while preserving the character and scale of the public front on Ponsonby Road. The current use of the GPK building has been adapted in the project while its aesthetic appeal and that of the neighbouring villas and cottages, have been respected; consequently becoming a strong driver of the buildings massing and elevational design. This reflects the scale, proportion and rhythm of old Ponsonby, while deploying modern materials and detail. The project aims not only to successfully resolve the functional, formal and technological issues of this particular situation; but, to also propose a generic urban and architectural design strategy which can be applied to similar sites around Auckland.