Vision West a Pioneering New Housing Project
Strachan Group Architects in Auckland is one of four innovative companies “from London to Tokyo” to feature in a Monocle special on social housing projects, with developments “showing how good design and collaborative ideas can enhance the lives of more than just the privileged few.”
“For a small country, New Zealand has some grown-up problems. House prices are up 20 per cent year-on-year in Auckland … [There is] a housing crisis [in Christchurch] caused by the loss of tens of thousands of homes that are yet to be replaced.
“Enter Auckland architecture practice Strachan Group, whose recent work for Vision West, a housing trust in a poor area of suburban west Auckland, is pioneering new techniques in home building.
“Overseen by principal Dave Strachan, the social housing project was developed with students at the Unitec Institute of Technology, where Strachan teaches. Together they have designed and built three small houses. They’re spare yet elegant with simple plywood interiors and board-and-batten outsides. The mono-pitch roofs, big windows and large decks are a vernacular with a long tradition in New Zealand, where the form is known as the ‘elegant shed’.”
Strachan says: “‘We bring all that modularity of prefab, plus the understanding of rain and sun and wind and try to use that in our design.”
Original article by Simon Farrell-Green, Monocle, April 2014.