Nestled directly behind the bustling shops of Ellerslie, the Ladies Mile site is excellently located for an apartment life style next to the amenities of a town centre. The design had to address both the opportunity presented by this proximity, with the challenges of a site with no road frontage, and limited access. This Housing New Zealand Corporation project is the redevelopment of an existing site – replacing old single story units well past their prime with two new three storey apartment buildings. Overall there are 66 units on the site. The building is specifically designed for older people, but is not a retirement village. All the one bedroom units have a full range of facilities, but are purpose designed to people of a range of physical abilities. This includes wheelchair accessible units on the ground floor. The design project was vigorously debated through a design competition, extensive consultation and resource consent process. The end result is a building the entire neighbourhood can be proud of. The palette of materials is rigorously robust – providing a rich tapestry of textures and forms which are assembled to create a secure environment for living.