In association with Fisher & Paykel.
Between the ’burbs and the city centre on one of Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland’s arterial routes, the Jervois Apartments by property developers Artifact and architects Monk Mackenzie is an early adopter of zoning changes that are moving the city towards greater density and more cosmopolitan living. The relatively compact site sits on a ridgeline in Herne Bay that provides a panoramic view over the Waitematā Harbour on one side and across to the Waitākere Ranges on the other. Rather than follow the existing model applied to inner-city apartments, the team used international design benchmarks to develop a different kind of lifestyle: residences that embrace both the urban buzz and the best of the suburbs, including a sense of community and access to nature.
Each of the Jervois Apartments’ eight dwellings — just two per floor — is structured around a glass-walled courtyard that rises up the core of the building between the south-facing bedrooms and north-facing living spaces to capture light and circulate air. The living spaces on every level open onto enclosed decks that form trans-seasonal outdoor rooms.
The apartments’ interiors were planned by architectural graduate and Artifact co- founder Sophie Wylie, who joined forces with interior designer Amelia Holmes. Smaller rooms such as laundries can be challenging in homes in which space is at a premium, so here Sophie focused on creating simple, efficient layouts. In each abode, the laundry is just off a central hallway, so graphite-hued Fisher & Paykel washers and dryers that echo the materials used in the kitchens provide a nice visual connection when you open the door — plus they don’t require ventilation and are stacked to maximise space.
Speaking of the kitchens — they have a significant role to play. Anchoring each is a marble-clad island bench that doubles as a device to separate kitchen and living. Meanwhile, the end bordering the deck also functions as a table.
Aesthetically, the goal for Sophie and Amelia was to come up with a design that felt timeless and cohesive with the rest of each home. The resulting material palette is a blend of timber, stone and brass. The horizontal surfaces are slate — a robust inclusion that can handle heat, water and heavy use, and is a soft, textural contrast to the pared-back appliances. The vertical surfaces combine more delicate grey marble with oak cabinetry detailed with the repeated motif of a batten handle. This is where an integrated column fridge-freezer comes into its own in each kitchen, sliding in seamlessly beside the ovens.
“The integration was critical, as we didn’t want the appliances to be prominent,” says Sophie. “Fisher & Paykel products are minimal and clean, and work well with the dark stain of the oak.”
The internal portion of each kitchen also inserts a wine fridge next to a butler’s pantry. “It’s a dual wine fridge, so the homeowners can store their reds and cool their whites and sparkling wine,” says Sophie.
The kitchens were designed to provide ergonomic benefits as well. Positioning a dishwasher on either side of the sink and mounting the ovens on the wall reduces the need to bend down and creates a simplified pattern of use.
“If we were going to put ovens on the wall, we wanted them to be very minimal and contemporary looking,” says Sophie. “That’s where these Fisher & Paykel ovens are so perfect — they offer a sophisticated glass front with few buttons and little colour, and they reflect the view.”
Photography Simon Wilson