Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Embracing the Block

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posted on 2021-12-09, 10:02 authored by Wezel, Daniel

With an estimated housing shortage of 150,000 homes in 2020, New Zealand is in urgent need of a new housing solution to keep up with demand. Given that families make up 70% of New Zealand households, attracting families towards inner-city living is the key to decreasing housing shortage and managing urban growth. The research investigates a housing model that is underutilised in New Zealand, but has the potential to accommodate families in high-density central city developments.  The European Perimeter Block (EPB) is a housing model prevalent in Europe’s largest cities, providing highly liveable urban housing at relatively high densities. Analysis of traditional EPB literature, contemporary EPB precedents and best-practice apartment design is combined with analysis of the New Zealand context to develop an extensive list of design strategies and criteria. This list provides a framework for the design of EPB housing in New Zealand cities. A subsequent design case study tests the applicability of the design strategies and criteria on a successful high-density housing development in Auckland’s CBD, with a focus on providing an attractive inner-city lifestyle for New Zealand families. The resulting outcome is a concise set of design criteria and a repertoire of strategies to usefully inform the design of an attractive EPB housing development in New Zealand cities.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Title

Adapting European Perimeter-Block Housing for use in New Zealand’s Cities

Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


McDonald, Chris