Not In My Back-Yard: Redefining Suburbia

Alena Milne

Cover Image Modos 2
Grey Lynn Suburbia

In order to prevent more damage to the natural environment, both our built environment and lifestyles need to be reconsidered. This design project examines the relationship between sustainability and resilience theories applicable to architecture within an urban context. This can be utilised to generate positive outcomes for the natural environment through rethinking the ways suburban neighbourhoods are designed. Suburban fabric is currently integral to urban New Zealand, which in turn has helped shape the identity of residential lifestyles here. Maintaining identity of place allows for the continuation of our society’s culture, in which persistence is important while at the same time enduring change.

Mini Section

Auckland authorities are currently reviewing their existing urban planning strategies. Increases in population and the subsequent demand for housing means there is a strong focus on urban intensification. While exploring how this will affect behaviour patterns and lifestyles, it is important to consider in what ways lifestyle changes at a suburban scale will affect identity of place. By applying resilience-thinking it is possible to consider how such shifts in the organisational structure of the existing built environment can generate lifestyle changes. 

Density Model 1482
Rule Circles

Analysis of the existing site conditions and Auckland City Council unitary plan rules were considered during the master planning stage of the design. Working within the limitations of the current planning rules but permitting greater leniency in certain areas allows for flexibility in what can be proposed on site. Complying with site coverage restrictions enables the continuation of ecological connections throughout the site while maintaining the provision of permeable surfaces.

Giant Persp

This proposal accounts for maintaining the suburban identity of Grey Lynn while increasing the residential density and intensifying the immediate neighbouring area. Smaller dwelling sizes allows for a greater number of houses to be located in one area, while providing an environment reflective of the current neighbourhood. By providing communal spaces and shared facilities alongside private residences, this allows all potential needs of the residents to be met without requiring each individual home to meet all functions independently. In addition to this, increasing access to public amenities at the top of the site ensures a true intensification of the area.

Axo W Textures

Materiality has been selected to compliment the suburban identity of the area, and reflect the 'kiwi' residential vernacular. The modular design provides the site organisation freedom for inhabitants to create their own unique identity for their homes within the recommended range. This allows for a cohesive representation of new buildings in contrast to old. The streetscape is maintained along with the existing villas as these enhance the cultural heritage and suburban identity of the neighbourhood.

Modules 2

A system designed around modular functions that have been designated orders determines the organisation of the proposed site. This allows for maximum flexibility ensuring homes can be designed to suit the residents needs with each new home.

Board 3C 2460
Courtyard 798
Board 3A 2460
Villas 798
Rooftop Garden 2460