Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Density done right: Ebor St townhouses

If we're going to add another 50,000 people to Wellington City in the next 50 years without resorting to greenfield sprawl, we'll have to significantly increase the densities at which people live. Part of this will come from inner-city apartments, but we'll also have to find ways to increase density in the inner residential areas.

As I've mentioned before, a large proportion of recent multi-unit developments are truly horrid, so there's a big risk of alienating people and creating a backlash against density. What we need are some good examples to show that infill doesn't need to be ugly.

Density done right: Ebor St townhousesHere's one such example. This is part of an apartment development along Ebor St (in south Te Aro) that takes the form of townhouses, a typology that's similar to the classic terraces and mews of West London. It's hardly cutting-edge architecture, but it's pleasant and restrained, and creates visual interest without arbitrary or anachronistic decoration.

I've finally got around to posting a full review of this to the UrbanEye section of the original WellUrban site, where I assess its contributions on urbanist, aesthetic, environmental and social grounds. There's also a photo in my Urbane Jungle gallery that emphasises the foliage. Some people will still find the density a bit much to deal with, but it's hard to claim that it's an eyesore.


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