Home Excellent Home
In late September Construkt hosted Home Excellent Home, an event to showcase its recently completed social and affordable housing in the Torrington Crescent precinct of Northern Glen Innes. The event was well received by the more than 40 people who attended the presentation.
The Auckland housing crisis has highlighted the absence of social housing in the numbers and locations where it is needed. The Torrington Crescent work is significant because, despite the inherent challenges presented by social housing, it has successfully applied innovative design solutions to create high-quality, medium-density housing and a strong sense of community on a brownfields site.
This development features three different housing typologies, namely ‘the terraces’, ‘the big small houses’ and ‘the turn around homes’. Each type responds to a different challenge related to delivering social housing.
Terraces have become a familiar sight within Auckland’s medium-density market but aren’t commonly used for social housing due to perceived challenges such as the need to modulate street façades vertically and horizontally, and addressing front-yard maintenance. Torrington, however, applies clever design strategies to overcome the challenges, all while dealing with the difficulties of a sloping corner site.
The ‘big small house’ combines several units to read as a larger whole. Its sophistication lies in how it provides a three- or four-bedroom home within the same footprint – from the street both houses are identical, positioned side by side. The result, with its strong, regular façade, is a strong identity for the residents and the street.
Common to all the social housing at Torrington Crescent is that the design promotes architectural order and dignity. For more about affordable housing, read Affordability Part 1: Site Matters in this issue of Shaping Space.