Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The New Norm

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posted on 2023-06-04, 23:43 authored by Hutt, Libby

A housing change is starting to evolve, being both a shock and change for many; it provides insight into a different form of living. Over the last decade, Auckland house prices have skyrocketed, causing the idealism of home ownership to become unachievable for many Kiwis. There is a need to look at other long-term housing options by integrating the Build-to-Rent (BTR) model in the New Zealand market. Overseas we have seen the growth of BTR, which offers secure and long-term rental spaces. We are likely to see the implementation of BTR within New Zealand, having already some examples.

There is a stigma behind renting that acts as a form of social information. The realisation of an extended renting period will likely be seen negatively due to the evolution and concept of investment being successful in the form of property investment. This thesis will explore how architecture can help flip the generalised perspective of renting to create an attractive place for people who want to rent by integrating homemaking and placemaking techniques.

This research investigation aims to form a critical design approach to demonstrate the positivity that can come with renting and show the advantageous features of this style of living. Following a design-led approach, this research will begin with a comprehensive analysis of the BTR concept, placemaking theories and multi-unit housing. Internationally recognised BTR, mixed-use and medium-density projects will be both analysed and reviewed to form an understanding of the BTR model. A design approach will be applied to 80 Ascot Avenue in conjunction with international literature and precedents. This design approach will explore the possibilities for the BTR model in a New Zealand context. The designs will be a form of rental housing that displays an understanding of the area’s culture to formulate an identity and integrate adaptable features to develop a sense of place. The process will involve a layered response understanding the existing and surrounding makeup of the area, harnessing the place and applying aspects that promote elements of the community.


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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

1 Pure basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Willocks, Victoria