Architect's notes— Jasmax
A building of the standard and size of The International requires input from dozens of different disciplines. And in the lead-up to demolition, architects Jasmax are finalising the design of The International, meeting with the team of consultants each week to work through the technical aspects of the building. Work is progressing on energy efficiency modeling – to identify the glazing and ventilation requirements – and coordinating the moving parts that will make the building ‘intelligent’, including access control, security, lift management and lighting. Acoustic and fire reports are complete, while engineers are working on the structural strengthening – testing floors, and resolving the connections between the glazing and the exoskeleton. It’s a complex, demanding design – but that’s what makes an extraordinary residence.
Buyer Q & A— Sharene Temple
What’s good about downtown Auckland right now?
Everything! The vibe is so positive and energetic. We have such a fantastic choice of restaurants, new walking and cycle paths, and more stunning fashion labels coming to our city. Although there is a lot of work in progress around the city, it only confirms an incredible future for Auckland. This in confirmed by the government, Auckland Council and the private sector investing billions in infrastructure.
You sell a lot of nice apartments. What makes a good one?
The right floor plan, location, good building and a "point of difference". Any apartment that ignites emotion – whether it be a water view or an incredible interior design – will sell in a timely manner and attain an excellent sale price in any market.
Why did you buy an apartment in The International?
My fiancé Ash and I had been looking for a long time for that perfect apartment. Our criteria were freehold with a strong seismic rating, attractive floor plan and a building that had a historical flavour. Then the next level of criteria was sought-after location, internal parking for security and in-house facilities. After nearly giving up our dream, The International was launched and with delight we purchased the exact apartment we were looking for. The royal history of our particular apartment and my Father riding for the Queen at the same time is the "icing on the cake".
You knew about the building long before you bought into it?
Because of my family’s background in hotel ownership, I knew the Grand Hotel – the original building – was one of New Zealand’s best in its time, with many dignitaries as guests over the years.
But there’s a personal connection too?
When Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh first toured New Zealand after her coronation, they arrived in Auckland on 23 December 1953 – my brother’s birth date – and stayed at the hotel in the Royal Suite: they were seen waving from the first-floor balcony. My father was asked to be part of the guard of honour, and rode with the queen as part of the royal tour: he later received a hand-written letter and ribbon from her for his duties. The Royal Suite just happens to be apartment 5.2 in the new building – but it wasn’t until we chose this apartment that we realised the coincidence!