A change of screen

A little contemplation and lot of know-how provided a beautiful solution to an architectural feature that was initially proving too expensive to deliver.

The ‘Isola’ Island Bay townhouses are a medium density housing development designed in an attractive contemporary style. Two storeys high and modulated, these buildings contain both public and private areas. That’s why the privacy for each dwelling was extremely important to get right.

While originally hoping to use coloured glass panels the architects, Novak & Middleton, were concerned at the steep costs. An alternative was clearly needed.

We designed a balustrade with solid aluminium sheet infill panels that could achieve the architectural intent cost-effectively. We also colour co-ordinated the balustrades to the various earthy tones on each dwelling. While cedar screens were initially specified as a privacy and design feature off to the side of the balcony we suggested aluminium slats as a strong, low maintenance option.

“The solid aluminium panels integrate various colours to create a modulated and appealing aesthetic between dwellings,” says Greg Lagoutaris, Senior Associate at Novak & Middleton. “This achieves the visual privacy required between dwellings and neighbours and is quite strong given that it spans the full height to the underside of the roofs.”

While used to working on high-rise apartments the installation team enjoyed the experience of working on a more accessible worksite, and it was particularly gratifying to be a part of the final transformation of these apartments.


“Isola” Island Bay Townhouses

Head Contractor:

Redican Allwood


Novak & Middleton



Completion Date:

July 2016

We found Urban Group excellent to deal with.  They provided suggestions and options to ensure the balustrades achieved our requirements for a solid and opaque screen to provide privacy between units and meet budgetary requirements.  The solid aluminium panels integrate various earthy tone colours to create a modulated and appealing aesthetic between dwellings. 

Overall the aluminium balustrades provide an attractive, safe, robust and low maintenance solution.


Greg Lagoutaris, Novak+Middleton Architects - Wellington