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Where the Heck Do I Put the Barbeque? High-Rise Housing for New Zealanders

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posted on 07.12.2021, 11:07 by Ashworth, Matthew

There is little doubt New Zealand is in the midst of a housing crisis. A growing population and a construction industry unable to meet demand makes housing supply an ongoing issue. The most sustainable way to meet housing demand is to increase density within existing city limits; however, growth in this way is problematic due to the stigma surrounding high-density housing. High-rise apartment living in particular is seen as undesirable to most New Zealanders.   This research investigates how high-rise apartment blocks can be better designed for the New Zealand context – specifically, how the provision of quality outdoor space can better align this typology with New Zealanders’ affinity with the outdoors.   Three innovative high-rise typologies are tested on a central Wellington site. Each is designed for a different user group and provides occupants with private outdoor space that facilitates outdoor activities usually inhibited by high-rise apartment living. Accessways are investigated and reimagined as vibrant common spaces that provide occupants with additional outdoor space.   The design outcome provides residents with a diverse range of outdoor space. From common, semi-private, and fully private, this research demonstrates a range of outdoor spaces can exist in a high-rise setting. The design outcome shifts the high-rise apartment from an imported international model to a typology adapted to the New Zealand locale.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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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


Southcombe, Mark