Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Peri-Fusion: An integrated agriculture and densified housing model for New Zealand’s peri-urban zones.

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posted on 2021-12-08, 22:23 authored by Morris, Sarah

Peri-Fusion housing is an integrated densified housing and agricultural model, that this thesis proposes as an alternative to the current problematic suburban model prevalent in New Zealand’s peri-urban zones. Suburban sprawl driven by the single storey housing model, New Zealander’s desire towards standalone housing, and the loss of fertile agricultural land are all driving issues behind this proposed PeriFusion housing. This research defines the periurban zones as areas of unknown development surrounding New Zealand’s towns and cities, addressing the increasing rigid, concreteclad, urban perimeter invading further into agricultural fertile land. Peri Fusion design strategies are established to test and develop a new integrated housing model, aiming to achieve attractive densified living, that is integrated with preserved agricultural land. This proposed housing development model could achieve a resilient flexible system of land use, where housing is integrated into a natural agricultural and horticultural resource cycle. This thesis includes typological research and a design-led research methodology. Literature and case studies were reviewed initially to define common traits of successful low-rise high-density housing, spatial agricultural landscaping typologies, agricultural integration and agricultural ownership. From these reviews, Peri-Fusion design tactics were derived to form a basis for testing in the design-led research methodological step. These tactics included the adaptive iterations and application of the ha-ha wall as an agricultural boundary, layered pathways between humans, vehicles and animals, and level change within landscapes. Alongside these main strategies, the integrated operational model was addressed, which included extensive grazing, intensive horticulture dedicated to housing and the inclusion of agricultural education. Also, a basic circular natural resource model was developed to address the operation of water, waste and food production management. In order to measure the success of PeriFusion tactics, Blenheim was established as a case study site for the design-led research. Conceptual and developed design was undertaken, which was reviewed against the Peri-Fusion framework, resulting in a final proposed integrated and densified housing model for the Blenheim case study site. Findings were then tested against the adjacent plot to the site with the same site coverage. This successfully revealed an increase of 131 housing units, decreased average gross floor area from 175m2 to 80.5m2, and an increase of unsealed preserved fertile land by 20%. This resulted in 38% of final model dedicated to agricultural and horticultural food production.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Architecture (Professional)

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Wilhelm, Hans-Christian