The Suburban Papakāinga concept is based on the desire to maximise the use of existing medium- to large-sized suburban sections in creating cost-effective multi-generational whānau living environments.
Many original Māori Affairs suburban homes are still in whānau ownership and often have large back yards often capable of accommodating up to two additional connected dwellings located around communal open areas and outdoor dining spaces. While this model is specifically aligned to Māori and Pacific whānau, these solutions are equally applicable to any group which values intergenerational living.
This project focuses on a typical 900m2 suburban Auckland site (16m wide by 56m long) and removes the existing single-storey 3-bedroom house and adds a 4–5 bedroom, two-storey house to the front of the site, a single-storey bedsit to the middle and a 4-bedroom (including mezzanine) two-storey dwelling to the rear, to accommodate up to 16 members of an extended whānau.
This option involves a two-storey gable design solution for the larger dwellings working with height in relation to boundary controls and arranging all dwellings around a communal grassed area and covered outdoor dining area. Care has been taken to keep vehicular access and parking (x4) to the south and separate from outdoor play areas, as well as ensuring that vehicles can turn around on site avoiding potential reversing accidents. North- and west-facing roofed patios on the rear dwellings allow for sheltered circulation while all dining areas focus out to the large north-facing grassed courtyard.
While the emphasis is on encouraging communal dining and outdoor activity both major dwellings maintain sunny private outdoor withdrawal areas.
Raised bed gardens and fruit trees help to maximise the productive use of yard areas while still providing easily supervised open space / tamariki play areas.
While the bedsit would be appropriate for a grandparent or young couple it would equally be suitable for a sole parent who is able to receive strong whānau support while maintaining a level of independence.
The provision of four-bedroom, three-bedroom plus mezzanine, and bedsit units in this design option allows for maximum flexibility in accommodating large extended whānau groups and for changing occupancies over time.