Ngaio & Grace is an exclusive apartment development of just six residences planned for the city fringe suburb of Orakei, nestled within a tree-lined enclave with sweeping views of Hobson Bay as Auckland’s iconic city skyline shimmers in the distance.
“I’ve always loved Auckland’s Eastern Bays, it has fantastic city beaches and is only minutes from the CBD,” says Graeme Fan, founder and development director of Beaudomus, who is developing the project.
The location was deliberately considered for “like-minded” empty-nesters looking to downsize.
“They aren’t very well served in Auckland,” laments Graeme. “They’re looking for a better way of living with much less maintenance. They want privacy, to feel safe and secure. Ideally they’d be on a single-level, with a touch of elegance and understated luxury. They want the freedom to travel, so they need a lock-up-and-leave. Nor do they want to be in a large multi-unit complex living next to neighbours they don’t know.”
Enter Ngaio & Grace. Graeme says that they could have easily crammed a dozen units into the same space, but it would have negated the philosophy behind the whole design.
“The beauty — and exclusivity — of what we’ve done is deliberately limiting the number of residences to six,” he adds. “It means you get to know your neighbours, that you develop a community. That’s what people are looking for, that village feel. That sense of community with neighbours brings comfort and reassurance.”
The residences are nothing short of spectacular, boasting Beaudomus-designed ‘beautiful to the eye, sensuous to the touch’ textured surfaces such as oak joinery and porcelain worktops.
The kitchens are kitted out with state of the art appliances by Miele; the spacious bedrooms, finished with luxury carpet and walk-in wardrobes, lead into ensuite bathrooms with oversized wall and heated porcelain floor tiles complemented by a polished plaster-feature wall, full-sized bath, and oak vanity.
The residences are generously sized, with extra rooms that could become a studio, an office, or a guest room for the grandkids or friends. Two spaces in the parking garage accompany each apartment too.
“The apartments have a sense of space,” says Graeme. “The layouts have been meticulously designed, with particular attention to the way the apartments flow. Featuring tall stud heights, full height doors and maximising the use of light, make the residences feel airy. We wanted to create an elegant and sophisticated interior, but remain neutral and understated, so that the owner can put their own stamp on it.
“Security is also a big feature of this residential complex, secure automatic gated entrance, with access control, video entry, CCTV monitoring the common grounds, independent intruder alarms with duress buttons and a security patrol service managed through the simple body corporate of just six owners. And being a pet-friendly development makes the residences a home where even their furry family members are welcomed.”
The extra space — along with the extra-sized elevators, wide passages and level street access — means that the residences have been designed with accessibility in mind and to be wheelchair-friendly. Great care has been taken to ensure the outdoors are “brought inside”, the ground-level apartments opening onto the courtyards, and all residences featuring wintergardens with bi-fold glass windows that can be partially or fully opened, creating an airy balcony during summertime, and cosy conservatory come the colder months. The layout ensures total privacy, with no apartment looking over another.
“We need better housing, and we need to start making the transition from the mindset of wanting that traditional quarter-acre block,” says Graeme. “It’s just no longer viable in our city. I’ve done a lot of work overseas, especially in London, and have developed an eye for what is working internationally. Those features can have the same positive impact, here, in Auckland.”
The Brains Behind the Beauty
Graeme Fan founded Beaudomus and Beau Consultants six years ago. He started his property career in the UK delivering “complex projects for high net worth investors” in London’s exclusive boroughs, further developing his portfolio upon his Auckland return. Married with two young sons, outside the office you’ll likely find him jogging or doing yoga: “I’d also like more sleep, but then, who wouldn’t!”
Luis Trullols is the development manager at Beau Consultants, having graduated in Sydney where he studied architecture and finance. Among his most impressive — and recent — projects was the development of the 54-hectare, multi-purpose Wairake Precinct in the inner suburbs. In a previous life, Luis also worked for the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, a winner of the Pritzker Prize — the Nobel for architecture.
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