An Expansive Life on a Compact Site

Words Liz French, Images Brydie Thompson and Boundless Vision

In our burgeoning urban areas land is getting scarcer and site sizes smaller. Medium to high density housing can be achieved without sacrificing quality of life, making rethinking the way we live a liberating experience. 

Andra and Andrew Rapley did not move far for a fresh life in a contemporary environment. They now relax in sunshine and seclusion in the courtyard of their new home; right behind their original one in an established central city locale.

Subdividing a property (with all the necessary council approvals) and building a dwelling on the new site is described as an infill project. With the right design and execution, it can be a fulfilling one, as the Rapleys discovered once they involved Thorne Group. Local Māori history meant the subdivision was more complicated than they expected, and Andrew acknowledges it may have been a smoother process had they got Thorne Group on board earlier.

Andra had seen other Thorne Group homes and appreciated the individuality and quality they displayed. A visit to the showhome sealed the deal. Thorne Group’s architectural design partner, Jon McAlpine (TG Architecture), worked with them to create a plan that took in the constraints of the site, maximised the north aspect, and provided solutions to their want list: space for entertaining with seamless access outdoors, an intimate second lounge beside an upstairs master suite with estuary outlook, double garage, storage galore … and even facility for a lift.

The Rapleys appreciated that while Thorne Group’s project management and scheduling was super-efficient and their attention to detail reassuringly obsessive, they were also flexible enough to allow their clients scope to inject their own personality. The result is a home that genuinely reflects its owners. Andra’s interior design flair is evident in features like the kitchen splashback and the brave use of dark colours as a counterpoint to the light bright interior. She particularly loves the black joinery and stacking sliders that open one corner entirely.

This successful infill project proves that living on a smaller site can gift a larger life. “We have far more time to relax, entertain, enjoy recreational activities and travel while still living in a location we love,” says Andrew.

Reserve-side Townhouses 

Thorne Group has been ahead of the curve in high density housing, with the late Bob Thorne identifying more than 20 years prior that it was the way of the future with land at a premium.

If their Sands Terraces townhouse development in Papamoa is the future, it’s looking pretty good!  With crisp lines and smart profile, they stand out from others in this burgeoning residential zone in Golden Sands, one of the fastest urban growth areas in New Zealand.

While first impressions are important, they must be borne out by design and build factors that ensure residents enjoy long term peace, privacy and quality of life. Hidden features like good acoustics and exceptional sound proofing are as vital as light, sunshine and ventilation, outdoor living, views and onsite parking.

The Sands Terraces border a reserve with an outlook to the Papamoa Hills. Skylights enhance an already bright, airy interior, where natural finishes create a cohesive, sophisticated, beachy atmosphere. Greenery plays its part in delineating the homes at the front and enclosing partly covered courtyards at the rear.

The configuration of these homes suggests flexibility and appeal to empty nesters, professionals, as a second or holiday home or for busy families. So convenient too. The comprehensive Sands Town Centre is taking shape within a five minute walk; there is a medical centre close by, local walking and cycling tracks are constantly extending and it’s a pleasant stroll to the beach.

Changes to council regulations are opening opportunities for subdivisions, infill and high density housing. Well-conceived design and planning is crucial to optimising your space. A team of experienced proven professionals like Thorne Group can ensure that downsizing the site you live on is an elevating experience.

Thorne Group

Showhome: 15 Montiicola Drive, Papamoa

The Sands Terraces: Rehua Way (off Carronade Street), Papamoa

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