Whimbrel Design

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Following are a series of ideas of varying degrees of usefulness...

For Christchurch:

Some of these were prepared for submission to the Christchurch City Plan, while others were drawn up later.  These would suit different people in different locations. It seems only reasonable that different places should be developed in different ways to suit different lifestyles, personality types and aesthetic sensibilities.  Most would be applicable beyond Christchurch too...  Much of it is currently prohibited in most New Zealand cities by poorly thought out planning rules.

Traditional pre-war American inner suburbia - This is a model some of us may know from movies and TV.  It allows for relatively high density while retaining individual and individualistic houses with gardens and sheds, and can easily be geared to foster community spirit. It should appeal to many New Zealanders with relatively little modification.  The style of the houses is irrelevant.
           
Traditional European town house model - We know this one too, but it is rarely seen here.  It won't suit everyone,but it will appeal to enough that it should at least be allowed at the fringes of the central city and suburban nodes.  Again, the style is irrelevant.

Garden Path - This could be carried out under a co-housing model, or it could just as easily be a small subdivision.  We see this in many parts of Wellington and even parts of Christchurch on the hills where sections have been developed long ago with no hope of workable vehicular access.  Why not do this on the flat and work in cycle paths and not waste money and space on road surface? It won't suit everyone, but it will have at least some appeal.

Small Apartment Buildings - Another pattern more common overseas. These exist already but good ones are rare and current rules make mixed-use difficult.  For those without dependants who want to live without driving on a day-to-day basis and do not wish to garden this can be quite appealing. They could be rented, or owned as part of a body-corporate.

Ideal central city street cross section - We've seen this before too. again, the architecture is irrelevant, but modern need to be all square edges and plain surfaces.

A residential density control - An alternative set of rules to the usual recession planes and height limits used to control building density in residential areas. The intention is to allow greater design freedom, encouraging more considered design, better planned houses and more beautiful streetscapes, without giving property owners free-reign to build the biggest ugliest box they can and shade out the neighbours. Beautiful boxes are quite okay though so long as they aren't too big.  Remember that a beautiful house adds the value of its neighbourhood, just as an ugly one detracts.

In General:

Precast concrete in new character commercial buildings - A way of designing and building new character commercial buildings to meet the needs of today, using the latest in proven technology, the material traditionalists love to hate and the skills of the garden gnome industry.

More to come...
James Carr - June 2012