Wrapping the corner of Asquith Ave and New North Road in Mt Albert, Modal’s prominent curve and dark glazed brick has made it an instant local icon.

Although some of our other buildings have rounded corners – Bernoulli Gardens and Hypatia also feature them – the sharp bend of Modal is surely our most discussed, drawing comparisons to the Flat Iron Building in New York City or perhaps a black polished grand piano. 

Music connections are apt for Modal – its exterior is inscribed with symbols codifying the various ‘modes’ found in western music based on the major scale. Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian and Mixolydian modes are represented on the east elevation, Aeolian and Locrian on the north.

Completed in October 2020 during the uncertain times of Covid, Modal is our first Build-to-Rent project, adding 32 one and two-bedroom residential apartments to Auckland’s undernourished rental housing stock. With an emphasis on providing its tenants alternative means of transport, the building does not have a carpark. Instead, residents share use of a Cityhop shared car and enjoy proximity to bus and train routes. Modal also has two internal bike storage rooms, optimal for those who use the beloved West Auckland Cycleway.

All this has won Modal some much- deserved attention, as it picked up an Honourable Mention at the 2021 Here Magazine Awards. “Modal is a sign of better things to come, as the city prioritises dense living along transport routes on main roads,” wrote editor Simon Farrell-Green. This is a building that illustrates how a future Tāmaki Makaurau could be – a new mode of urbanism.

Mt Albert

But 7km from the CBD, Mt Albert is a classic Auckland suburb – the second oldest in the city. 

Pinned between Ōwairaka, the maunga to the neighbourhood’s east, the Unitec campus to the west, and within nodding distance of St Luke’s shopping centre to the north, this area has an eclectic, easy charm.

Featuring old wooden villas and tree lined avenues, reputable train and bus connections, and with a main cluster of shops and eateries on New North Road to rival any other in town, it’s little wonder The Spinoff declared Mt Albert to be one of the best places in Auckland.