Retrofitting the low-income suburb

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McIntosh, Jacqueline
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Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Budgett, Jeanette
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Ōtara (Auckland, N.Z.)
Bairds Road (Ōtara, Auckland, N.Z.)
housing in Auckland
social housing
state housing
affordable housing
house relocation
community engagement
community construction
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
McIntosh, J. (2016). Retrofitting the low-income suburb. Masters thesis explanatory document. An unpublished research document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Architecture (Professional) UnitecInstitute of Technology, New Zealand.
Taking Auckland as the focal point for national imperatives for sustainable, affordable housing and regional demands for increased densification, the thesis considers how complex housing requirements might be reconciled and operationalised within the city's most stigmatised suburb. The literature and a series of case studies were reviewed to find strategies and solutions for sustainable affordable housing but also to establish the significance of this work in terms of the role of the architect. Conversations were held with residents and community groups of the aforementioned suburbs as well as with house location specialists to determine the desirability and potential for relocating selected housing stock within the neighbourhood. Preliminary experiments were undertaken with targeted potential users to test ideas and participatory design strategies where shelf-help is a key strategy for many affordable housing schemes. From this foundation, a 6-step process was developed to: reclaim housing that has fallen from favour remove it from its immediate location relocate it to a temporary location retrofit/reconfigure it for sustainability and suitability for a variety of family situations and living arrangements reconnect it with the community the finally reposition it to a permanent site within the community Discussion were held with potential end users/self-builders to explore possibilities and understand the variety of user requirements which resulted in model development and design iterations. The design process and development has been aided by frequent self reflections and ongoing critique. Research project site: Bairds Road, Otara, Auckland
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