Welcome home Fir Street

27 June 2019

We're working with Housing New Zealand to help deliver more high-quality homes better and faster.

Moving day is coming up for Housing New Zealand (HNZ) tenants in Waterview, who will soon be welcomed into five new warm, dry state homes.

The Fir Street development, which includes three 3-bedroom and four 4-bedroom homes, was designed using the exemplar home designs Context Architects developed with HNZ.

This library of exemplar home and apartment designs, accompanied by design and development guides tailored to the unique requirements of HNZ tenants and communities, is integral to helping HNZ deliver the high-quality social housing New Zealand needs more efficiently and make better use of their residential land holdings throughout the country.

At Fir Street, the five new homes replace two no longer fit-for-purpose houses on the site. Two of these homes also include ground-floor accessible bedroom and bathrooms, an option we developed with HNZ to accommodate people with varying accessibility needs and multi-generational families.

Fir Street is one of many HNZ developments completed or underway using the new exemplar home designs. Earlier this week, members of our team and Precision Construction visited the development to see the finished community.

“It’s very exciting for us to see these homes and how they’ve translated from the design strategy we formed over the last two years, through design and planning, into virtual reality and now in real life. We feel great knowing five families will be moving into warm, dry and safe homes this winter,” says Context Associate Rachel Venables.

“Our purpose is to lift people’s lives through the power of design and projects like this feel like we’re living up to that vision.”

Designed to deliver the next 50 years of social housing, the new exemplar home designs give HNZ and its partners the ability to tailor new developments to any context and provide harmony with existing surrounds. Cohesive, well-designed communities delivered at pace and scale.

“It’s very important to HNZ that high-quality, attractive design is maintained across their extensive build programme. When developing their social housing framework, we designed-in features and options to maximise architectural and urban design outcomes in any context,” explains Rachel.

Diverse permutations enable variety within each home and from building to building, guaranteeing visual interest and contrast. Combining different typologies, materiality, colour palettes and roof forms means HNZC can create unique developments that add life to existing neighbourhoods.

The neighbours are excited about the changes too - the ultimate goal of thoughtful intensification.