Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Edge of Public Amenity

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posted on 2021-12-08, 11:43 authored by Takizawa, Ken

We have the techniques to design smaller and more efficient apartments, but those small apartments are often less attractive than their suburban alternatives. Some of the most attractive suburban houses are adjacent to significant natural public amenities, like beaches and parks, which gives the occupants convenient access to these public amenities. Valuable waterfront houses, for example, often open directly onto the beach. Houses adjacent to the town belt in Wellington often have direct access to these natural environments. While some small apartments can also have high value when adjacent to public amenities, they seldom have direct access to interior public amenities. What opportunities are there to making apartments more attractive by providing a shared interior public space directly accessible from the apartments door step? What is the interior equivalent of a beach front house? This project explores the possibility of setting apartment’s directly adjacent to interior public amenities like a gallery space, giving occupants privilege access to these spaces. With a growing urban population, our cities can either become denser or sprawl. The latter is not a positive outcome. Cities with limited access to land often handle density better since it is an urgent issue while others do not face these issues the same way but it is a reality. There are many benefits to living in the city; however we require places for recreation such as public amenities like the beaches and parks. Distinctively they are an escape from the built environment where there is a growing demand for density. Apartments are the norm in inner city living and they do not have relative proximity to these public amenities. Interiors also can be public amenities and there is an opportunity to bring these interior public amenities into the apartment. This opportunity could well improve the quality of apartment interiors because of this new adjacency to a public interior amenity. There are many examples of flexible designs but all are individual cases, such as the building in which Gary Chang lives. It is a small 32m² apartment known as a domestic transformer because of its sliding walls. Out of the hundreds of similar sized apartments, none is as flexible as Chang’s apartment. Typical apartments have a systematic problem of cramping more space at the cost a spatial configuration. Furthermore apartments rarely have any significant interior spaces that are adjacent to them.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Interior Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Interior Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Kebbell, Sam