At Home in the Quarry - A community engaging and landscape responsive approach to Medium Density Design within the Three Kings Quarry
The recently exhausted Three Kings Quarry in central Auckland suburbia is currently being prepared for housing development. As a suburb within New Zealand’s fastest growing city, housing pressure and intensification policies mean that higher density design will be a key focus of remediation. Medium Density Design is a relatively young model of higher density housing in New Zealand and has developed a strong negative stigma, engendered by the abundance of unresponsive medium density developments which struggle, both physically and visually, to connect with Auckland’s low density suburban culture. Plans to only partially fill the site have been met with opposition by the community as the quarry landscape is seen as an obstacle for connection within the suburb and unfit for human inhabitation. Because of these negative feelings towards both the quarry and medium density design, locals are anxious any development within the quarry will follow a similar Medium Density housing model that turns its back on its context and community while failing to connect to the Three Kings context. This research argues that by designing with the slope and existing condition of the quarry, medium density design can produce a scheme that meets the desires of the community and builds a unique and relevant identity for Three Kings. This thesis proposes this can be achieved by acknowledging the significance of the industrial landscape and designing with landform features and environmental systems; through community focussed medium density design; and by taking advantage of opportunities of mass housing design on the slope. These issues are tackled on the urban scale through design of a master plan, as well as cluster and dwelling scale design proposals.