Te Maru o Tawatawa Britomart Street Social Housing

  • residential
  • urban design
  • landscape architecture

Housing New Zealand Corporation

Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington


NZIA Wellington Architecture Award, Housing - Multi Unit, 2019

Britomart Street Social Housing is a new build social housing development consisting of 34 one-bedroom units within three lightweight two-storey buildings located in the Wellington suburb of Berhampore.

Te Maru o Tawatawa apartments for Housing New Zealand are contextually responsive to their surroundings while maximising the site’s development potential for good quality social housing that has careful, effective and efficient unit planning.

The diverse character of the street is reflected in the building size and articulation. From the street the front buildings are separated into two blocks giving the appearance of a smaller scale development in keeping with the existing building stock along Britomart Street. Front doors, landscaped patios, and street facing living spaces stitch into the neighbourhood and provide a high level of street activation and encourage community engagement and integration.

Ground floor units are accessed by their own front door through private fenced patios that house a clothesline, built-in seating and planter boxes with feijoa trees.

All units are north-facing with private outdoor spaces separated from the communal pedestrian lane by level changes, metalwork freezes/fences and planting that provides an important sense of enclosure and privacy. The highly articulated roof form reduces the scale of the buildings and identifies entry points shared with four immediate neighbours. Walk-up Level 1 units are accessed in pairs from a shared entry stair that creates a sense of tenant security and ownership.

Studio Pacific’s masterplan, landscape and architectural design for the development aspired to foster a sense of community by taking advantage of the close proximity to local amenity and public transport routes that afford the opportunity to minimise on-site parking in favour of a more pedestrianised landscaped shared space with a high level of planting and communal seating areas for the residents to socialise.

Te Maru o Tawatawa means “The shelter or protection of Tawatawa”.

– Maru: shelter/protection/shield/safeguard

– Tawatawa: the hill range to the west of the site that stretches from Mt Cook, past Berhampore to Island Bay

This name was chosen by students of Berhampore School. 

NZIA Wellington Architecture Award, Housing - Multi Unit, 2019