Social Housing Henderson, Auckland - SGA | ArchiPro

Social Housing Henderson, Auckland

Studio 19 is a collaboration between Strachan Group Architects (SGA) and the Unitec School of Architecture. The client, VisionWest Community Trust, is a Waitakere based not-for-profit organisation that specialise in supported care within a growing housing portfolio.

The brief was to design, document and build a four-bedroom home and two-bedroom minor dwelling for use as long-term supported social housing in Henderson, Auckland.

Beyond the typical scope of architectural education, the project team consists of sixteen third year architecture students under SGA guidance. The uniqueness of the 2012 project holds huge potential, as it is the first social housing undertaking from the Studio 19 team.

The design honours cultural, social, educational, and lifestyle needs of future tenants. With sheltered outdoor living, dedicated built-in study spaces, passive solar design, transportable thermal mass and new material technologies, the homes provide a quality product 50% above code standard for insulation, and well above market standards for healthy homes.

The two homes step with the landscape as the contour descends to the valley below, painted in camouflage to rest modestly in the deep green hues of the Waitakere Ranges. The roofs fold protectively forming resilient and low maintenance Southwest walls whilst the rhythmic battening is a reference to the area's history of Kauri logging.

A crafted timber interior provides warmth and comfort yet a robust and low maintenance internal lining, offset by custom CNC cut cabinetry in kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.

The prefabricated nature of the design allows for a streamlined construction process, resulting in a reduction in build costs, and also in wastage of materials. Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs) for roof and walls arrive on site pre-made and ready to install with no offcuts. It is intended that the modular design can be easily adapted to future sites.


Jackie Meiring


“This project pairs two refreshing and complimentary versions of affordable and modest homes, which combine clever spacious open areas and built-in furniture components mixed with articulated interior screens. The homes offer flexible, light, warm airy spaces, with virtually no heating required, in a design successfully driven by modular prefabricated parts.” (Jury Citation)

“This low-energy passive, warm, comfortable and affordable housing takes full advantage of modular prefabrication systems with a touch of clever individuality. Here a social housing solution reinforces community with its simplicity, and open and linked site relationships.” (Jury Citation)

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