3 Basque is the conversion of a two-storey 1970’s office building into short-term stay apartments in the dark, forgotten fringes of Auckland’s CBD. The brief was to maximise site development potential, creating an ‘edgy, yet lower budget’ apartment building. The idea was to infuse life and novelty back into the lifeless, functional building remnants of the 70’s and 80’s – a site seen from various vantage points. The scheme utilises the existing external columns, these becoming ‘legs’ for the new upper bulk –conceptually an alien-type Space Invader spacecraft descended upon the city’s eclectic fringe, essentially encapsulating the lower building. With the existing structure as a launching pad, this acts as the exoskeleton from which the newer upper levels find their foundation.
From an urban perspective 3 Basque introduces a new node in the local streetscape, bridging the existing eclectic urban grain of Eden Terrace while synonymously overlaying a vibrant, futuristic architectural commentary, launching the Basque Road precinct into an exciting urban future. The building’s shape, form, materials, and fenestration continue this narrative. Reminiscent of Sci-Fi type craft, the dark metal clad form generates a weighty metallic volume, angular edges punctuated by contrasting planes of glass. Overlaid with pixelated screens, splashes of bright colour, functional transformable appendages, and shadowy recesses, these solidify a memorable yet innovative aesthetic realized within a tight budget.