The Spine Road
Hobsonville Point Road forms a spine through the development, running from Hobsonville village at one end to the peninsula’s natural terminus at The Landing, a waterfront precinct which is earmarked for residential, hospitality and commercial use. Urban designers, Isthmus Group, based the density and layout of Hobsonville Point on much-loved city fringe neighbourhoods such as Ponsonby and Mt Eden.
Spine roads like Ponsonby Road perform multiple functions for their community.
In these successful suburbs, a main street meanders through a medium density neighbourhood forming the ‘spine’ to the residential streets that radiate off it. Ponsonby Road and Mt Eden Roads also provide a metaphorical spine to their communities, providing places to live, to work, to shop, to access public transport, and importantly, to interact with others in the communities.
Hobsonville Point Road has been conceived as a focal point, linking the residential areas to shops, parks, schools and the waterfront.
Neighbourhood streets intersect Hobsonville Point Road at regular intervals, and most of the blocks are at right angles to the main road to maximise walkability for the majority of residents. Along the spine key intersections will be activated with clusters of shops.
The road has been conceived as a ‘high street’ and a focal point for the community and it aims to recreate the bustling feel of the main road in a city fringe suburb. Building controls for the spine road allow greater height and density. Three and four storey buildings have been designed to accommodate more intense use with a higher proportion of terraces and apartments than elsewhere.
Amenities are concentrated along the spine road.
Building height and density increases along the spine road.
At street level, retail, small business and ‘work from home’ options can be accommodated because the homes are also accessible from rear laneways. These ground level rooms facing the high street have a 3m stud height and a bathroom to make them as flexible as possible for their owners – second living space, shop, studio, teen hangout, office. Typologies new to New Zealanders such as walk-ups help create the intensity needed to bring the high street to life as well as providing lower priced options for small households.
Homes offer flexible spaces at street level for small businesses.
Clusters of shops are an easy walk from the neighbourhoods.
Next week we look at another of Hobonsville Point’s success strategies: designing houses to face the street, creating greater opportunity for social interaction.
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