DKO’s context-driven design for Atlas Quarter sets a precedent for high-quality central city living.
Located just a block from DKO’s Christchurch office, Atlas Quarter is a project that sits close to home for our New Zealand staff. Being so connected to the site, our team looked to create something that both enhanced its locale and blended effortlessly with the area’s industrial ambience. It was equally important that, in a post-earthquake context, the buildings would play a role revitalising the city by bringing people back into its heart. Working from a collaborative masterplan with Architectus, DKO’s resulting ensemble of apartments and terraces draws upon the unique history of Welles Street to cater to the next generation of city dwellers.
Originally the 1880s Scott Brothers Atlas Engineering and Manufacturing Works, the gritty urban identity of the apartment block and terrace homes is informed by the site’s industrial past. A gateway building of 16 walk-up apartments sits on Welles street, with covered porticos inviting pedestrians into the landscaped laneway. Generous one and two-bedroom dwellings look towards the Port Hills perched on Christchurch’s horizon, with hospitality venues on the ground floor framed by a metal-clad colonnade establishing a lively street presence and offering protection from inclement weather. The site’s green thruway is lined by 14 spacious two and four-bedroom townhouses, each fronted by private outdoor courtyards, offering respite from the hustle and bustle of Welles Street. Clean lines and elementary architectural forms are articulated by the development’s forged materiality. Unified by charcoal greys and soft creams, the palette is punctuated by dark grey cladding, smooth concrete and rich brick tones.
Rather than aspiring towards imposing an architectural statement on the landscape, DKO’s context-driven design for Atlas Quarter sets a precedent for high-quality central city living. An authentic architectural contribution to a recovering city, Christchurch’s people and history lay firmly at the development’s heart.