The layout and design of the Waitakere NOW Home®

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A sustainable house does not have to look different

The Waitakere NOW Home® is designed to have mainstream appeal.  Yes, the designers wanted it to be energy and water efficient.  Yes, they wanted it to minimise air pollution and waste.  But, importantly, the house also had to appeal to residents of the New Lynn area.  It had to fit in with the type and size of houses in the neighbourhood.  It had to look attractive, but ordinary.

“Everything seems bigger”

The tenants particularly enjoyed the layout of the rooms, the openness, absence of hallways or corridors, and clever use of spaces.  This may seem surprising as the ‘footprint’ of the home is relatively small.

The house has no corridor or hallway space, and the laundry is part of the garage, close to the back door and clothesline.  This has enabled the architects to design two living areas: the main open living area including the lounge, dining area and kitchen; and a second living area off which the bedrooms open. The second living area is versatile.  Although designed with the idea that it could be used as a study or second lounge, the tenants have used it for a children’s play room, keeping toys separated from their main living areas, as a study and as a home gym area.

For the tenants, “everything seems bigger”. There is a real appreciation of how the spaces relate, the indoor-outdoor flow, and an overall sense of greater freedom of movement.  They also liked the open plan design which they felt did not exclude people or separate children and adults.  The indoor-outdoor flow was especially good for their family life.

Waitakere NOW Home floor and planting plan


Comfort and appeal

  • Comfortable and modern
  • Bi-fold sliding doors to terrace provide indoor-outdoor flow
  • Cathedral ceilings to living and dining areas give a spacious, airy feel
  • Bay window breakfast nook in dining area
  • A modern kitchen
  • Dedicated computer nook
  • An airlock at the entry provides privacy to the main living space and reduces heat loss
  • Large sliding doors/no corridors to make shifting furniture in, out and around the home easier
  • Plenty of storage, with internal garage and three internal cupboards
  • Easy access from laundry to the washing line
  • Designed to be barrier-free

Waitakere NOW Home

Waitakere NOW Home®