Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Regenerational Residence

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Version 2 2023-09-26, 01:36
Version 1 2021-12-07, 15:50
posted on 2021-12-07, 15:50 authored by Mackie, Ben

New Zealand has an ageing population whose dwelling options for retirement are largely inappropriate. Retirement homes and villages are increasing throughout the country yet these often cause a decline in functional ability. Accordingly, demands on public healthcare have increased, necessitating a shift in recommendations towards homecare and ‘ageing in place.’ Ideally, aged-care should take place within extended families, yet this requires specific accommodation. Historically, standalone housing such as ‘granny flats’ or moving in with the extended family has been the solution. However, these have drawbacks such as inefficiency and distance from the wider community. There remains potential for a denser, economic housing solution within walking distance to local amenities. There is also a growing interest in developing medium-density housing (MDH) in New Zealand. However, this typology has shortfalls when it comes to multigenerational families such as small living rooms and limited outdoor areas. Further, the multi-storey nature of MDH promotes stairs, being particularly restrictive for ageing residents. Is it possible for MDH to be designed to accommodate ageing in place effectively within New Zealand?  The needs associated with ageing are important to consider for long-term living. For effective aged-care, the literature advocates designing for both health improvements and accommodating dysfunctions. These two needs are addressed respectively in architecture through regenerative and intergenerational design. A personal and relational lens further investigates both of these terms. Regenerative elements involve personal wellness and relational reciprocity, whereas intergenerational elements include personal autonomy and relational interconnectivity. For each of these elements, the design methods draw qualitatively from existing precedents, indicating potential generators to inform an iterative, site-specific model. A suitable site and program provide relative design parameters. The chosen context is Nelson because the ageing population is straining healthcare while there is also significant potential for MDH. The generators and parameters drove the preliminary design process, ultimately integrating these drivers within a developed design proposal. This exegesis proposes that MDH can effectively accommodate ageing in place by overlapping such drivers through iterative modelling to create specific design principles.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

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



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Wilhelm, Hans-Christian