The Housing Crisis - A Solution?


On the strength of our successful renovation of their home (see 100 Years Young), our clients commissioned this new apartment over the existing double garage.

Wellington City Council planning rules for infill housing imposed a single-storey height limit. However, with a carefully reasoned argument that the project would provide much-needed housing close to the CBD without adversely affecting surrounding properties, we were able to get planning approval.

The floor area is only slightly more than the double garage. Thoughtful planning fitted within this space a double bedroom, open-plan living-dining-kitchen, full bathroom and laundry. By sliding part of the new addition out over the driveway, we created a private, sunny outdoor living space at the rear. This offset plan is emphasised by the contrasting coloured cladding in the cutout corners.

Exterior colours were chosen to complement the backdrop of native trees, with the subdued dark olive profiled metal cladding complemented by acid-yellow panelling and balustrading and the pohutukawa-red handrail and window hood. In the bedroom, one wall was lined with native timber panelling made from bookshelves salvaged from the original house.

This project demonstrates one possible solution to the current housing crisis – very compact new dwellings in under-utilised airspace. In our view it is unfortunate that homeowners would have to waste money on a resource consent to progress such a worthy project!