31 Aug 23

A new standard of later living

Addressing a shortfall in the New Zealand market for luxury later living, Woods Bagot is designing five premium lifestyle developments featuring refined residential apartments and high-end amenity that will enable residents to age in place with dignity.

Australasian developer Winton has engaged Woods Bagot to design five multiresidential developments for its Northbrook neighbourhoods, boasting a new tier in all-inclusive post-retirement residences.  

The developments comprise around 900 apartments across five luxury precincts in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, Hobsonville’s Launch Bay, Avon Loop in Christchurch, Arrowtown, and Lake Wanaka.

Whether in urban or retreat locations, each development responds sensitively to its surroundings, the exterior designed to sit sympathetically within its local context. Each development is designed to capitalise on local amenity; for instance, on the Arrowtown development, the architecture borrows from local agricultural heritage buildings, while in Wynyard Quarter, the vertical village embraces vistas overlooking the Waitematā Harbour.

Principal and Portfolio Lead Andy Gentry said the Wynyard site has been designed to connect with the existing laneways, axis and wider green village. “We’ve created vertical neighbourhoods, crafting a collection of differing heights, forms and materials, and creating a sense of place, where residents can see their home from the street rather than a monolithic approach,” says Gentry.

Leading the design of the development in Northbrook Arrowtown, Senior Associate Eric Buhrs says the development is a reinterpretation of the traditional rural vernacular defined by craft and belonging, taking cues from its alpine context and local architectural traditions. 

“The philosophy was one of designing from the inside out, so every decision was about the wellbeing of residents, giving them access to views and sunlight and amenities,” says Buhrs. “Residents’ movements throughout the site and through buildings was a large part of the design philosophy. The village will comprise 148 premium living residences and 23 care units. A standalone boutique hotel is nestled at the top of the valley with views of the local waterfall.”

“Our residents enjoy a certain level of luxury in their lives, and this shouldn’t be compromised when they move into a Northbrook development,” says Winton’s head of vertical living James Burgess. “From the floorplates, to the materiality, to the aspect, these apartments are tailored to offer an experience that could be likened to a luxury hotel.”

Across the five locations, each site offers comprehensive amenity including onsite restaurants, whisky and wine bars, wellness facilities, pools, libraries, cinemas, golf driving ranges, and art galleries, to name a few. “The fine dining restaurant is standalone, meaning residents can enjoy experiences with their wider community, to maintain the sense of connection they are accustomed to,” says Principal and interior design leader Bronwyn McColl.

Each residence is designed for comfort, ease and convenience without compromising on aesthetics, featuring sophisticated interiors with joinery discreetly designed to future-proof for aging in place.

Wynyard Quarter display suite

Wynyard Quarter materials palette

“Every space is designed to promote accessibility and autonomy of the end user,” says McColl. “For instance, rooms have been designed to accommodate wide turning circles; toilets are placed next to a wall to allow for the addition of grab rails; and countertops and fixtures have been considered to suit seated and standing users.

“These subtle but crucial considerations enable residents to stay in their homes through various stages of life, without compromising on comfort and confidence.”

Developments offer tiered levels of care for the diverse needs of each resident, without ever sacrificing the sumptuous considerations that make a place feel like a home.

“This is a new standard of later living,” says Gentry. “Empathy has been a key driver in the design response, with the precincts engineered to promote social inclusion and maximum mobility, enabling residents to continue to lead meaningful and engaged lives.”


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Isla Sutherland
Content and Communications Specialist (Australia & New Zealand)

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