Top architects called to design coastal homes

Apr 10 2018 Development

Two of the building companies that are working at Hobsonville Point will soon be releasing plans for a number of large, luxurious coastal homes that make the most of the north facing land and harbour and bush views along the peninsula’s edge. These homes will connect directly to the coastal walkway.

Both Jalcon Homes and Classic Builders have shoulder tapped some of the city’s best architects to design these homes. Classic has commissioned three top architectural practices – Isthmus, Sils van Bohemen and Bossley Architects – to design six homes each. Jalcon is working with Stevens Lawson architects. In Bossley Architects’ ‘Headland Houses’ terraced gardens provide a place to sit and enjoy the views of the coastal scenery while providing privacy from the walkway.

Each house has excellent sun as well as shelter from the prevailing winds. With floor plans of up to 250 square metres, four bedrooms, two living rooms, multiple bathrooms and a double garage, these are big homes that make the most of their coastal setting. The location puts their owners just a five minute walk from Catalina Bay’s shops and restaurants via the Coastal Walkway.

To read more, download the brochure.


Catalina Bay: Where Old Meets New

One of the best things about Hobsonville Point is that its fascinating history gives it a unique character. The area was not only a military base, it was also the birthplace of the commercial aviation industry in New Zealand.

We’ve worked hard to preserve as much of the history as we possibly can – retaining original streets, mature trees, homes and aircraft hangars dating back to the late 1920s – while balancing the commercial viability of the project.

Although it would have more economical in the short term to ‘start afresh’ we believe that building the new community ‘on the bones of the old’ as one resident so nicely put it, brings long term social benefits. Heritage lends continuity and authenticity and contributes to a sense of belonging – a basic human need.  

Retaining heritage is not the easy option. Eighty years of use by the armed forces has left Hobsonville Point with dozens of houses and buildings in various stages of disrepair. It hasn’t been possible to keep everything, for a variety of reasons. Often the cost of replacing unsafe materials is too high.

Willis Bond’s project director for Catalina Bay sums up the challenge well. “In order to save the best we have to sacrifice the substandard. Auckland has done a poor job of maintaining heritage. What we’ve got left we absolutely must preserve for future generations. The critical task is to identify the best and figure out how to keep that.”

Silver say that Willis Bond preserves heritage buildings by adapting them for modern day use. “Buildings need a use that is relevant today and a commercial value which underpins the cost of the restoration. If the project is not economically sustainable, then who pays for the building? Either the taxpayer or rate payer pays, or the building slips into disuse and its future becomes uncertain. “

Willis Bond is in the process of adapting five heritage buildings on the Catalina Bay waterfront now. “It’s much harder and more expensive to refurbish than build from scratch. You need an architect that’s sensitive to the character of the building and a builder that has pride in the work. It’s an activity of love.” 

Here’s a little background on the heritage buildings being restored at Catalina Bay:


The Armoury

Now: In part, the Catalina Bay Farmers Market

Military Use: Storing weapons when not in use on aircraft, then later a machine shop and the Armament Engineering Section.

New Use: Farmers Market / Restaurant

Status: Open and humming

Willis Bond will also be announcing a new restaurant soon. Keeping your eye on Hobsonville Point’s Facebook page is the best way to keep up to date.


The Seaplane Hangar

Now: Catalina Workshops

Military Use: Housing and maintenance of seaplanes and the home of the Fairey IIIF, Walrus and Cutty Sark. Stored and serviced boats belonging to the Marine Section and housed marine fitters. Also accommodated the Instrument Bay, Electrical Bay, safety equipment, then later, the Metal shop and Woodwork shop and stores.

New Use: Commercial space

Status: Complete and partially leased.

The Seaplane Hangar has been transformed into an industrial chic office space. Willis Bond locked the giant hanger doors open and stripped back a large portion of the cladding to reveal the intricate steel structure. The steelwork was renovated and glazed with glass commissioned in the United States to take advantage of the harbour views.


The Sunderland Hangar

Now: Little Creatures NZ

Aviation Use: Servicing TEAL’s two Short Empire flying boats. Later housed the Engine Fitters and the Catalina seaplanes.

Wartime Use: Repair depot for Walrus seaplanes. Later used to service the RNZAF’s giant Sunderland seaplanes

New Use: Micro-brewery, restaurant and office space

Status: Estimated completion Christmas 2018

OK, it doesn’t look flash now, but you wait! We had to strip the hangar back to its bare bones to get rid of the old cladding which contained asbestos. Over the course of 2018 it will be reclad and reborn as the NZ home of Little Creatures. The new corrugated iron exterior will be painted in military greys featuring a striped pattern that was used as camouflage by sea craft to deflect radar from above. A glass frontage will look through to brewery vats. The Sunderland Hangar’s gigantic doors will open onto a public plaza where you’ll be able to sit and look at the harbour.


The Fabric Bay

Now: Fabric

Military Use: Initially the Marine Section. Personnel were trained and at times ate and slept there too. The Marine Section made and serviced moorings, serviced the seaplanes, towed targets for aircraft and army training. Later uses included a cafeteria and storeroom.

New Use: Café and Bistro

Status: Expected to open May 2018

The Fabric Bay has been given a new life as Fabric, bringing a sophisticated vibe to the waterfront with its menu built around seasonal, locally grown produce. Luke and Melissa Shore are locals and experienced hospo operators. They say they'll be open from 7am till late from early June. The new deck over the water makes the most of the upper harbour and bush views.  



Military Use: Formerly the Flying Wing Headquarters where Sunderland Aircrew were trained, including Technical Instruction, and later, the Glass Reinforced Plastics (fibreglass) workshop.

New Use: Office space

Status: Almost complete and leasing now

This striking two-storey, concrete masonry building with its exposed steel trusses and giant steel windows is almost ready to be occupied at the time of writing. It would suit a service-related business wanting a high-profile building, such as real estate company, architectural, legal or accounting practice. It has a 4m and 7m stud height and harbour views.


Auckland’s Changing Attitude to Big Backyards

As Auckland intensifies to make space for its growing population, homebuyers are being asked to rethink the suburban dream of a big backyard – and finding some unexpected benefits to living a more compact life.

One of the things that makes living in Auckland fairly unique compared to other large cities around the world is that few Aucklanders are more than half an hour's drive from some wilderness, whether it be bush or beach. The Auckland isthmus is only 2kms wide at its narrowest point. Our topography is both a blessing and a constraint, however, and the Unitary Plan is aimed at ensuring the city can expand without covering the wide open spaces we all treasure with housing.

At Hobsonville Point residents are embracing higher housing densities than in many established suburbs. The homes are closer together and section sizes smaller than the suburbs that were developed in the 1960s and 70s. The density is modelled on our early suburbs like Freeman’s Bay. Private outdoor space is more likely to be a balcony, courtyard or 'outdoor room' than a large lawn. What Hobsonville Point offers instead of "half a footy field within your fence-line," says Caroline McDowall, Precinct Director for HLC, is plenty of public parks and green spaces residents can walk to. "It's about using our land better by putting green space into public hands where it can be shared and enjoyed by everyone."

The township has 26ha of parks and reserves, ranging from pocket parks that form the shared backyard for a group of houses, through to the 13ha Onekiritea (Bomb Point) Park. The suburb has been masterplanned from scratch and the designers have linked up all the parks with a 4.9km green walkway so that residents can walk or cycle from park to park via what is effectively a park also.

The walkability factor is important. We know from studies worldwide that spending time in nature significantly lowers stress and improves your mood and energy levels. Research also tells us that positive mental health outcomes from visiting the park were "significantly related to distance." So, to get the benefits from living near the park it has to be close enough that you'll visit regularly.

Anecdotal evidence from Hobsonville Point residents backs up research that shows that parks increase what's called 'social capital' by providing places to meet and interact, and by strengthening people’s sense of attachment to their neighbourhood. In short, people meet other members of the community at the park and are happier and healthier for it.

"This is a very functional, friendly community and we know that good design has helped make it that way. There's no reason why these design principles can't be applied to Auckland's existing suburbs as we intensify," says Caroline. "It's also encouraging to note how many of the locals have said that moving here has freed up the weekends to get out in nature and see friends, rather than staying home to mow the lawn."



We were thrilled to see the first home completed in the new Airfields precinct late last year. This is an important milestone for what will eventually be a neighbourhood comprising almost 900 homes. Airfields is owned by Auckland Council’s urban regeneration agency, Panuku Development Auckland. They’ve teamed up with developers, AVJennings to create Stage One (102 homes). Airfields is being developed to a master plan that balances and harmonises all elements within the neighbourhood, and takes into consideration neighbouring precincts also.

In early 2018 construction began on the roading for Stage Two, which will bring a further 510 homes to the market. Stage Two will include a wide, tree-lined boulevard called Waka Moana Drive, which will connect Airfields to the Sunderland neighbourhood at one end and Te Ara Manawa, the coastal walkway, at the other. Construction of the homes in Stage Two, by Top Garden Property, is likely to start towards the end of 2018.

Kerepeti Takes Shape

Kerepeti is taking shape over two sites on Hobsonville Point Road just a few steps from Hobsonville Point’s two schools. Swap the school run for hugging the kids and nudging them out the front door in the mornings! Ngāi Tahu Property has teamed up with the NZ Super Fund and New Ground Capital to deliver 208 homes across two neighbourhoods, Uku and Kerewhenua.

Kerepeti means ‘pliable clay’ in Maori and the neighbourhoods are named after the pure white (Uku) and yellow (Kerewhenua) clays of the peninsula. The names also pay homage to the ceramic and brickworks yards that use to line Hobsonville’s foreshore in the 1800’s.

Kerepeti offers a variety of terraced houses, apartments and walk-up apartments in one to four-bedroom options at prices ranging from $645,000 to $1.3 million. Thirty-four apartments and walk-ups will be available through the Axis Series affordable home ballot for first home buyers.

We’re excited about the 47 homes being built for use as long term rentals. The properties will be owned and managed by New Ground Living. They’ll offer lease terms of up to seven years to give tenants stability while still being able to shorten their lease if their circumstances change.

Kerepeti’s first terraced homes are close to completion on writing, and both neighbourhoods are expected to be fully developed by the end of 2019. Plans and prices are available at the display suite on the corner of Hobsonville Point Road and Glidepath Road – open 10am to 4pm daily. See


Annual Sustainability Report 2016/2017

This year is the ninth year of reporting against the Sustainable Development Framework that was developed at the very beginning of the development process. The reporting framework clearly articulates the vision, goals and objectives for Hobsonville Point.

This report tracks our progress against performance indicators and comments on achievements and challenges over the last year.

 Click on the link below for the full report. 

New community facility will be ready early next year

Our community is soon to enjoy a new space to meet, learn and socialise.

The former Royal New Zealand Air Force Headquarters building at Hobsonville Point is in the process of being transformed by Auckland Council into a new, multi-purpose community facility. The exterior facade will be carefully restored and the original windows repaired, with the aim of retaining and restoring as much of the heritage art deco building’s original character as possible. Inside, the space will be opened up to create more useable spaces, including four main areas and a new kitchen. The kitchen will be equipped to cater for meetings and cooking classes.

Construction is expected to be completed by Christmas, with the centre open to the community early next year. 

A new family home priced below the median still achievable

Securing a new family home priced at or below the median in a good area is still possible in Auckland, thanks to a new programme at Hobsonville Point.

Click on the link below to read the full article. 


Thousandth home celebrated

Bryce and Alyssa Farrow, are the proud owners of Hobsonville Point's 1,000th home. The couple have just moved in, having bought their home a year ago under the Axis Series affordable home programme. The programme is focused on providing affordable homes to eligible first home buyers at or below a $550,000 price tag.

Alyssa and Bryce say they feel lucky to have a found a house in Auckland, and particularly in Hobsonville Point, where they've lived for the last three years and put down roots. "We didn't actually think it would be possible," says Alyssa.

They entered the ballot for a chance to buy an Axis Series home "around four times" over the space of two years. Alyssa, a teacher, and Bryce, an electrical wholesaler, lived with relatives and made use of a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant to pull together their deposit.

The one bedroom home is on the ground floor of a three storey walk-up built by Jalcon Homes. On the 1st of June, Social Housing Minister, Amy Adams and Upper Harbour MP, Paula Bennett dropped by to welcome Alyssa and Bryce to their new home as part of an event to celebrate the thousandth house milestone for the township.

Alyssa and Bryce are part of a fast-growing community. Hobsonville Point now has over 3,000 residents. By the time the township is complete it will be home to around 11,000 people in about 4,000 homes.

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Annual Sustainability Report 2015/2016

This year is the eighth year of reporting against the Sustainable Development Framework that was developed at the very beginning of the development process. The reporting framework clearly articulates the vision, goals and objectives for Hobsonville Point.  

Click on the link below for the full report. 

HLC broadens horizons

Hobsonville Land Company, the Housing New Zealand subsidiary charged with developing Hobsonville Point, has changed its name to the already widely-used abbreviation ‘HLC’.

The low-key rebrand reflects the company’s growing involvement in additional large-scale developments across Auckland, including building up to 1200 new homes in Northcote in the next five years.

HLC Chief Executive, Chris Aiken, says in its more than ten years of residential development, the company has learned a lot about building large numbers of high quality homes at pace and in a way that fosters strong communities. As a result, it has been asked to utilise these learnings on other projects in partnership with Housing New Zealand.

“To reflect this expanded focus, HLC has been given the new meaning of ‘Homes, Land, Community’,” he says.

The name change in no way lessens the company’s commitment to Hobsonville Point and it will remain based in the area, says Chris. “Successfully completing the exemplar development at Hobsonville Point remains a top priority.”