Ford Lofts

 

Photographer: Thomas Seear-Budd

This project began with the dilapidated old Model T assembly building from which the lofts have been fashioned.

Recycled brick, oil-rubbed timbers and finely gridded windows seek to reintroduce integrity to the long-bastardised shell.

The Lofts site is cornered by buildings on all four boundaries. Detached from a street front there are no views and little light here. This is the opposite of Auckland’s luxury apartment living model.

One arrives at the Ford Lofts through a cobbled laneway. Leaving the street behind, the lane punches through the old paint walls for arrival within an intimate leady courtyard.

A small aperture in the building’s perforated brick skin reveals a leather-bound handle affixed to steel doors. Slipping into the low, softly lit lobby and walking between new brickwork and original masonry columns, we hoped such tactility of material might afford a sense of depth and integrity to the arrival at Ford.

The irregularly shaped footprint, absence of outlook and the limited opportunities to bring daylight into the building led to a scheme of only eight Lofts, each unique in their layout. Every loft seeks to augment a balance of privacy and interior atmosphere with contained outdoor living; elegance and grace with robustness and integrity.

It has been our delight to draw from this near-wreaked old building a small number of apartments that seek to amplify its wonderful qualities. We hope through careful rehabilitation of this old dark shell to have expanded our city’s expectations of elegant apartment living.

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