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Intergenerational Housing Project 2014

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Intergenerational Housing Project, Newton Gully,  Auckland.

This project considers the future of one of Auckland oldest and most diverse neighbourhoods in Newton Gully, Auckland.

In response to the development of a Unitary Plan for Auckland and the stated goals to produce a ‘liveable’ and ‘affordable’ city a design competition is proposed that seeks to anticipate and even pre-empt the attention this most charismatic neighbourhood will inevitably receive.

The slogan ‘Intensify Yes, Sanitize No’ points, on the one hand, to the demands this neighbourhood will surely face as developers look for intensification opportunities, whilst keeping in mind the diverse group of current users and residents who function as a community in what has become an unofficial sanctuary for many ‘outsiders’.

This precinct embodies a rich cultural and architectural history. A number of iconic structures have disappeared yet key buildings remain including the Maori Hall in Edingurgh St, the Auckland Old Folks Association, and just outside the area, the Dogs Bollix building which was an original pool hall (1886).

The goal of the competition is to get ahead of the developers so that the current community can begin to imagine and then realize the design of their neighbourhood. An extension of this is the potential for the area to continue evolve, whereby the design allows room for as yet unanticipated or perhaps even accidental changes to occur.

In many ways the current neighbourhood survives through a lack of planning or endeavour to improve. This comfortable status quo is however unlikely to remain as the intensification process gains momentum. The challenge is to anticipate the demand for intensification, and respond to this with a vision that does not dismantle this community.