Developing Culturally Appropriate Spatial Standards for Dwellings in New Zealand
Authors: Rhodes‐Robinson, Jacob; Marriage, Guy; Caylor, Sarah; McDougall, Stephen; Stevenson, Susanna
Crowding is a pressing issue in New Zealand residential housing. Over the next thirty years, our population is expected to grow to 6 million, up from its current 4.6 million. With this, it becomes increasingly important to provide guidance to designers on how to best design spaces so our burgeoning population can thrive. Crowding in New Zealand is particularly a problem when multi‐generational families increase loads on internal amenities, with homes often stretched to accommodate more than they were designed for. Spatial standards have been introduced in New Zealand that help to mitigate the issue, but do little to address the unique spatial needs of our culturally diverse population. This paper assumes the need for a universal standard to guide building in this country, and asks: How can New Zealand determine a spatial standard for minimum dwelling size that considers the needs of our culturally diverse population? It examines existing spatial standards, assessing how they address the spatial requirements of various cultures, and, a set of design guidelines that articulate spatial relationships for culturally sensitive dwellings. This paper outlines an approach for amalgamating these documents, making recommendations for the development of a universal standard appropriate for New Zealand.