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Wellington City Council's new Regent Park housing development in Newtown - designed by local architects Designgroup Stapleton Elliott - won the top residential award in the 2012 Resene Total Colour Awards in Auckland last night.
For images of the development, see:
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has welcomed the award. "Council housing provides a good home for Wellingtonians. This award recognises the lively colour scheme that graces the apartments - it's a tribute to the architects and everyone who's been involved in the design and construction of Regent Park."
Her comments are supported by the City Council's Social Portfolio Leader, Councillor Stephanie Cook, who praises the bright palette of colours that feature at Regent Park - including panels in reds, yellows, greens, blues, white and shades of grey. "Who says affordable housing has to be boring and utilitarian?" she asks. "And it's great that our tenants can be justifiably proud of their homes.
"These new apartments and townhouses are providing warm modern homes to Wellingtonians from all around the globe including Somalia, Iran, Ethiopia, India, China, Sri Lanka, Samoa and of course New Zealand."
The redevelopment of the Regent Park housing site - on a well-hidden and low-lying site off Owen Street - began in 2010 and was completed in March. The contractors were Maycroft Construction (enabling) and Hawkins Construction (main contract).
The social housing development involved the demolition of 38 bedsit and one bedroom units dating from the 1970s and construction of 27 architecturally-striking new two- bedroom apartments and family size townhouses.
The site is in a natural basin in Newtown. The previous single-storey timber framed flats couldn't be easily altered to accommodate modern families and appliances so it was decided to demolish them and build new apartments.
"The new development combines density and good amenity. The colour scheme, site layout and buildings were carefully considered to acknowledge the underlying landform, natural landscape and the greater built environment within the area," says Craig Roberts of Designgroup Stapleton Elliott.
City Council Housing Group Manager Vicki McLaren says there has been strong community interest and involvement in the Regent Park site and it has been redeveloped in consultation with the surrounding community. The new tenants living in the community are enjoying their new homes that have been built for modern living.
These apartments are part of a 20-year project to upgrade the Council's social housing portfolio. The Government is contributing $220 million to the project and the Council is investing additional money from its rental income. The Housing Upgrade Project is now entering its fifth year.
As well as being the first complete new-build project for the Council's housing upgrade this is a smokefree apartment complex - a first for Wellington City Council.