Of necessity, Unitec’s baches are built on site at
the university. The students are there, and the teachers, and the workshop. But prefabrication is also deliberately part of Strachan’s teaching message. “There have to be ways to build well-designed and affordable alternatives to the prefab housing sold by lowest common denominator construction companies,”
Strachan says. He acknowledges that the search for the architect-designed prefabricated house is an age-old quest, even in economies far larger than New Zealand’s. However, he says, architects should persist – pre-fab is the only means of reconciling bespoke
design and off-the-rack budgets.