Making Space: Densification of Wellington’s Suburbs
New Zealand’s current housing situation revolves around a housing stock shortage that is a result of a mismatch in household to house size due to changing family structures and an ineffective utilisation of land. These core issues come back to the way we as New Zealanders live (Eaqub & Eaqub, 2015). The New Zealand way of living is controlled and restricted by cultural norms and expectations that has resulted in an analogous housing stock that derived from the generalisation of household structures which accommodates for a select group of people. This has restricted effective usage of land due to a mismatch in household and dwelling size in terms of the person to bedroom ratio. According to Eaqub & Eaqub (2015), “This is the problem – not that land is in limited supply, but that we use hardly any of the land that is already there… The scarcity of land is entirely artificial and of our own making, because we restrict land use so heavily” (p. 52). The result of this mismatch is ineffective utilisation of land by either over consumption of land by a house that contains more bedrooms than the occupants require, or underutilisation of land that is vacant.
This research looks at how residential architecture can most effectively use vacant land to create suitable dwellings for all household types. The outcome of the research will be to increase the housing stock through means of an architectural typology that will encourage people to live in a way that is different and will improve one’s lifestyle while maintaining the desirable aspects of the conventional home.