As designers and developer, we are passionate about the little things. The brushmarks on a beautiful painting. The feel and texture of the leather.
But also just how well something actually works. How easy was it to get in the door with the groceries? Is there enough room to do the laundry without it spilling out into the hallway? Is there a power point for the phone charger?
When we start out to design a new development, we start with the little things, because we know they make a big difference.
At Outlook, we knew we wanted to find those special touches that transcend attractive architecture, stunning views and quality finishes. Those, often little things that just make life work. Here are some of the little things we thought about.
1. Grass to sink your toes into
Moving from a house and backyard can be liberating because it frees people from the hours of endless maintenance, or the guilt of avoiding it. But there is something about having green space just outside your door to sink your toes into. The smell of the cut grass and flowers. The look of trees in blossom. Yards also give the flexibility to have a group of friends and neighbours around for a quiet drink and BBQ feast, celebrating special events or just a sunny Tuesday.
So to give Outlook residents the liberation from chores, with the benefits of a yard and garden, we created the Outlook Garden & BBQ pavilion, at the heart of the development. We set award-winning landscape architects Boffa Miskell the task of making the gardens both inviting and usable, with large open areas and native plants throughout. The BBQ pavilion provides shelter from the midday sun or a passing shower and includes two built-in BBQs and fridges to warm up the food and chill down the drinks.
2. Electric Cars
We did some looking around and found that the number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) on the road continues to grow, with a specific concentration in Auckland. Plug-in models are gaining in popularity the fastest and a number of car manufacturers either have, or are planning to have, models across a range of prices. While plugging in may be more environmentally friendly than filling up, it’s not nearly as convenient if you can’t park your car near a charging point. So we have included the option for electric car-charging points in the carparks at Outlook so you can pull in and plug in any time you like.
3. Dirty Dogs
We knew we wanted to create a space that was friendly for both two-legged and four-legged friends. But designing for the life of a dog or cat brings a different set of challenges. As pet owners ourselves, we knew that a fun walk around the block, through the park or down to the beach doesn’t always end with our little companions smelling like roses. Often a bit of a tidy-up is in order before we head back inside. So we created an undercover dog washing area at Outlook, complete with warm water tap so no one needs to take a cold shower.
4. Easy (and dry) Pick-ups
As stunning as the Eastern Bays are, they still experience the diversity of Auckland’s famous “four seasons in one day”.
While some will choose to drive themselves, for those who take advantage of the local amenities via taxi or Uber, standing outside on a winter’s evening can be an adventure in itself.
So we designed the entrance at Outlook to include two comfortable lobbies and an undercover pick-up and drop-off area to keep the elements at bay. No more rainy dashes to the car.
5. Appliances ready and waiting
The first few weeks of living in a new home can be both exciting and daunting. Whether it be a piece of art or the coffee machine, every item has a new place and sometimes it takes a few tries to find the perfect position that’s just right for each. But one thing that should always fit the first time is the appliances.
So everyone moving into Outlook will have the major appliances ready and waiting for them, in the location specifically designed for each. We know the Bosch washing machine and dryer will fit into the laundry area because we designed it that way. We know the integrated fridge will sit perfectly behind the cabinet door because we put it there.
6. Spaces designed for living
Balanced living can sometimes be considered a combination of form and function. Form in the way something looks and feels. Function in the way that something just seems to work. One without the other creates friction instead of harmony. So when we approached the design of the apartments themselves, we created laundry areas with space to actually do the laundry. Which is why many of the Outlook apartments have walk-in laundries. And because kitchens can be the heart of the home for many, we worked with Gretl Lukas to design kitchens as spaces for both food and friends.
As we approach the time when the Outlook community will start to move in, we’re looking forward to seeing how each of these little things comes to life.
For us, we think the little things make a really big difference.