One to One Hundred 17 One Saint Stephens

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Jamie Holmes
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    David Hillier
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Member
    Emily Jurilla
  • Client
    Cooper & Associates

Located next to the Cathedral on the crest of Parnell Rise, One Saint Stephens is one of the most exclusive apartment buildings to be developed in New Zealand. With penthouses commanding upwards of $20 million, this was a project unlike anything else on the market.

This was to be our fourth engagement with the client, having previously provided visualisations for Outlook, Elm Remuera and One Wairua. With photorealism no longer considered a worthy benchmark for architectural rendering, something special was required to honour this project.

Our creative concept for the render set came from an understanding of where the true value in this development lies: the magnificent site. This site is entirely unique, sitting next to one of Auckland’s iconic buildings, at the top of one of Auckland’s most expensive streets, minutes’ walk from the amenity of Parnell and Newmarket, and offering an expansive 360-degree view of the city and harbour. Even the address makes a statement: this is the One.

Our renders display a specificity of place rarely found in visualisations. Rather than cropping in tight on the building (which generally means less arduous context modelling), our exterior renders embrace the location to celebrate the proximity of the Cathedral; the Anglican Diocese and Bishopscourt opposite Brighton Road; the mature pines and Pohutukawa that line the streets; and the sea view that appears when travelling down St Stephens Avenue. Even the roads and footpaths have been modelled accurately with correct signs, lampposts, street markings and bluestone kerbs. For those that know the area, the site is instantly recognizable.

Moving inside, the interior renders show a similar reverence of the surroundings, with cameras oriented to capture the many landmarks: Hobson Bay, Rangitoto, the Auckland Memorial Museum and the Cathedral. We have dressed the interiors with contemporary, luxury furniture fitting of the modern building design, but kept the spaces minimal and the palette subdued so not to compete with the incredible views.

The renders showcase the building and interiors across the whole day: early morning, midday, late afternoon, sunset and evening. These different lighting scenarios explore the building's shifting personality: basking in warm sunlight, silhouetted against the sun; and glowing in the evening. This gives extra depth to the marketing collateral and again links the building to a real, changing environment.

We have supported our wide-angle renders with ‘vignettes’ – detail shots with portrait composition, tight focus and more mood. These curated moments provide a more intimate lens into the development. The vignette of the Keltern wine was our way of promoting the media partnership with Villa Maria. Rather than using stock photos of the vintage, we modelled the bottle and did an insitu renderin the amazing private dining amenity.

Our craft for One Saint Stephens was in the details – as our immense consideration, care and accuracy gave the project marketing its specificity of location, outlook, design and features. To spend such extravagant sums on an apartment, a prospective purchaser would expect no less.