Location: Auckland, New Zealand
The north shore of metropolitan Auckland is increasingly coming under development pressure as improved transportation access and a high quality of life draw new residents to the area. Located on the border of the Auckland and Rodney District Councils, Weiti represents the largest undeveloped coastal property under single ownership in the metropolitan area, and the last chance to establish a sustainable model of community development which can be used as an alternative to the American style suburbia currently in fashion.
The 900 hectare property consists of steep topography which presents challenges to community designing. In addition, significant natural assets along the shoreline restrict development. While these are often seen as constraints to planning, the firm’s techniques and methods are able to incorporate such elements and often seek them out if not defined prior to a planning charrette. The sensitive shorelines and ridgeline slopes were used to define natural corridors between the villages and hamlets proposed for the site. Over two thirds of the property was left in natural conservation. Even areas developable were designed to enhance the open space. Stewardship lots requiring a minimum of 5 hectare sections serve to emphasize the natural setting and preserve the tree cover.
Three Villages, one on the slope of a ridge centered on an existing paddock, a second draped along either side of an interior ridge sloping downward to a creek and a third along the top of a ridge provide three distinct lifestyle opportunities. The ridge top village is a high density centre, consisting of two nodes flanking a large golf course Country club complex. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, the golf course is one of two courses at Weiti. The second course encircles the medium density Village centered on the paddock. Between the two courses and Villages lies the low density Village. A series of Hamlets situated on hill or ridge tops round out the communities at Weiti which in total can accommodate over 1,500 sections and approximately 2,800 units of residential, and 22,000m² of commercial.