Amaia—meaning ‘halo’ or ‘lunar rainbow’ in te reo Māori—promises to be a crowning residential centrepiece overlooking the Takapuna coastline. An innovative and inspirational “new generation, mixed-use urban village”, Amaia sits on 2.1-hectare elevated oceanside site with views of Waitematā Harbour, Auckland Harbour Bridge, and the CBD.
“It is a unique site with unique history and geography,” says Dean Kimpton, project lead and spokesperson for KBS Capital Ltd. “The name was chosen in consultation with Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, with cultural advice from the local iwi that have a relationship with the site. It’s also fitting when considering the curving orientation of the peninsula.”
Building a Community
Developer KBS Capital, alongside award-winning architects Jasmax, have been “rethinking New Zealand’s emerging apartment-life culture and how we live together in our urban centres”.
“New Zealand is not a country synonymous with ‘apartment life’,” Dean tells Verve. “There is a false perception that the standard of apartment living doesn’t compare with owing a house and a quarter-acre of land in a suburb, but with ever-longer commutes, a growing population, and the decreasing accessibility of real estate close to metropolitan centres, rethinking how we live together in our urban centres has never been more timely.”
Amaia’s aim is to “build community through diversity of residents and connections through walking, cycling and shared spaces that inspire meaningful interactions between neighbours”. Cycle and walking paths are joined by communal courtyard-level retail, fitness and cafe spaces will be open to both residents and the public. Residents will also enjoy access to a community room for meetings.
“An open double-height sheltered undercroft ‘lobby’ will overlook the civic plaza and welcome residents and visitors alike to Amaia, creating an inviting sense of place,” continues Dean. “And Amaia is a pet-friendly development with ample green space for walks.Owners will be welcome to bring their pets.”
A full-time building manager will ensure that Amaia’s buildings, shared spaces, and green areas are well-maintained to the highest standards.
A total of 81 apartments, with up to three bedrooms, will be built over five years, a $350 million project that will create 250 construction jobs, with further opportunities in the managed operations and commercial activities that follow. The solid concrete complex sits surrounded by a 7,000sqm green reserve that springs from an island-like formation.
“Amaia’s structure is designed to stand the test of time,” says Dean. “A mix of textured sandstone cladding, shimmering metal panels, and charcoal banding gives the building a contemporary look and feel. It is inspired by the canopies of forest islands. Apartments overlook the central civic plaza as the beating heart of the development, and the surrounding green spaces create connection to nature and the waterfront in a relaxed setting.”
The green space supports the regeneration of native coastal bush, including pōhutukawa, while a seafront boardwalk on the southern side looks towards Auckland City and the Waitematā Harbour.
“Environmental impact research has been conducted and all development will ensure the protection or enhancement of local native plants and wildlife,” adds Dean.
Front and centre of the team’s thinking has been to encourage and enable sustainable transport options in order to mitigate congestion and enhance transport projects being led by the NZTA and Auckland Transport, including that much anticipated SkyPath to connect North Shore foot and pedal traffic to the CBD. The walk and cycleways are an integral part of this, backed by bike storage, basement carparks and electric vehicle charging stations.
“Combining city-edge living with beach-side leisure, Amaia is conveniently located close to State Highway 1, Akoranga Bus Station, and is within walking and cycling distance from Takapuna and Auckland’s east coast beaches,” says Dean. “And opportunities are being explored to partner with Devonport-Takapuna Local Board to fast-track projects such as the Francis St to Esmonde Rd cycle and walkway.”
Not only will the project enhance and improve Takapuna’s public gateways and functions through public and private partnership, but also “contribute to a future where Takapuna’s car traffic is less congested, foot, cycle and public transport traffic is growing”.
“I cannot think of many other developments that combine that edge-of-the-city living and modern apartment experience right on the coastal edge,” says Dean. “The whole team has committed to this incredible design philosophy that flows the whole way through, and though there has been some serious challenges this past year with the pandemic and the housing market that have seriously impacted the construction sector, they’ve still held true. You can see that determination around the vision and philosophy playing consistently true, and I think that that bodes well for everybody that chooses to live there.”
Amaia First Look
Amaia of Takapuna’s 400sqm display suite is open to the public at 10 Northcroft St, Takapuna’s well-known ‘Department Store’ site.The display suite brings to life a premium apartment floor plan including bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living area. The suite is open from 10am to 4pm daily. Takapuna hospitality favourite Takapuna Beach Cafe has an on-site cafe serving coffee and treats for visitors to the display suite.
Overview of Amaia
At 48 Esmonde Road, Amaia’s one-, two-, or three-bedroom configurations include integrated balconies or winter gardens.Apartments are designed to appeal to first home-buyers as well as downsizers, Kiwis returning from overseas, couples, young families and singles.
A range of floor plans and sizes range from one-bed at 53sqm to three-bedroom at 130sqm.
Prices range from $789,000 for one-bedroom plus study to $1.6m for a three-bed apartment.
Safe and convenient basement carparks with building access are available for all apartments.
Secure bike storage or alternative storage space is available for all apartments.
Electric vehicle charging stations will be provided.
Rubbish and recycling bins will be located within the development.
Takapuna perks include beach and city living, great entertainment and hospitality scene, and excellent local schools like Westlake Girls and Westlake Boys and Takapuna Grammar.
Construction will commence mid-2021 pending resource consent, and completion is scheduled for late 2023.