With Shel­ley Ferguson, co-host of The Block

Your Home and Garden - - The Block Nz -

You’ve been spend­ing a bit of time out at Hob­sonville Point lately. What are your thoughts on the de­vel­op­ment and what would you say are the pros and cons of planned com­mu­ni­ties? I’m re­ally im­pressed with Hob­sonville Point. While many of the homes are sim­i­lar in size and lay­out be­cause it’s a planned com­mu­nity, there’s a re­ally good va­ri­ety of de­sign styles from ba­sic yet stylish to those de­signed by no­table ar­chi­tects. The ar­chi­tects have clev­erly used nat­u­ral light, join­ery, cladding and rooflines for dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion and a vari­a­tion of aes­thetic.

The pros are cost: economies of scale on build­ing ma­te­ri­als, sav­ings on plans due to mul­ti­ple dwellings, and small land sizes keep the cost of buy­ing a home down. Also ease of liv­ing – there are great ameni­ties, shops and recre­ation ac­tiv­i­ties so ev­ery­thing you need is a walk away. Usu­ally there’s a gov­ern­ing body, mean­ing shared spa­ces are well main­tained and there’s a shared in­ter­est in se­cu­rity which makes for a lovely, neigh­bourly feel. I guess the cons of planned com­mu­ni­ties are if you’re not a fan of the house styles on of­fer, or if you’d rather be in a cen­tral lo­ca­tion.

Do you think opin­ions are shift­ing when it comes to the style and de­sign of high-density hous­ing? Def­i­nitely. High-density is now ap­peal­ing to three key groups of peo­ple: those who can’t af­ford a large home, those who want or need to live in the city, and those who choose to em­brace high-density for rea­sons such as sus­tain­abil­ity and sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of life. Be­cause of the de­mand, the in­dus­try has re­ally stepped up to of­fer beau­ti­ful de­sign styles for a range of bud­gets. How­ever, there just aren’t enough on of­fer in the ar­eas needed and the cost of qual­ity is still too ex­pen­sive for many.

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