Fast Forward Spring 2018 | Doing Medium Density Well 2 Event as iCalendar

(Creative Arts and Industries, Architecture and planning, Event, Central Event Tags, Lectures, Architecture and Planning, Creative Events)

19 September 2018 - 26 September 2018

6:30 - 8pm

Venue: Please refer to individual lectures for venues.

Location: City Campus, University of Auckland

Cost: Free

Contact info: Creative Arts and Industries

Contact email:

Website: Register to Attend

Download programme
(5.1 MB, PDF)

Fast Forward is the School of Architecture and Planning's biannual lecture series. It aims to foster debate, discussion and development within the disciplines of architecture, urban design and urban planning.

This semester we focus again on the question: how can we do medium density well? With the 2016 Unitary Plan supporting an increase in the density and height of terraced housing and apartments, Auckland has decided to grow up. But how can we do it well? How can we ensure good quality?

From July to September we offer a series of talks and discussions to support the public and profession in effecting decent medium density design for Auckland housing.

All lectures start at 6.30pm, are free and open to the public. Attendance at each lecture earns 10 NZRAB CPD points and 2 ADNZ CPD points. 

The Fast Forward series is generously supported by GIB®

Head to our YouTube channel for the lecture recordings
Head to our YouTube channel for the lecture recordings

Pamela Bell | PrefabNZ

Wednesday 18 July, 6.30pm

Engineering 401:439, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland

We have been building New Zealand houses in much the same way for the past 150 years: a couple of blokes hammering sticks together in a paddock. Yet despite embracing the benefits of, for example, pre-nailed framing, we remain slow in adopting alternatives such as panelisation and volumes.

Pamela Bell is the founder and CEO of PrefabNZ. Set up in 2010, the organisation represents a range of industries and professionals advocating prefabrication. Saving both time and money, prefabrication can improve building quality by constructing components offsite under controlled conditions. This method can also increase safety and reduce waste.

Pamela's Master of Architecture from Victoria University of Wellington focused on prefabrication and resulted in the book Kiwi Prefab: Cottage to Cutting Edge, co-authored with Mark Southcombe (Balasoglau Books, 2013).

Her talk will introduce us to the principles of prefabrication in a New Zealand context, making connections to overseas innovations in the field. She will demonstrate how prefabrication can become a major player in dealing with our housing crisis. In addition, Pamela will explain how this approach is 'smarter, faster, cleaner and greener' than traditional construction methods. 

READ: The prefabulous solution to the housing crisis.
A great article by NZ Herald in case you missed PrefabNZ's Pamela Bell's Fast Forward talk.

Presentations | Cooperative Housing: Auckland Experiences

Wednesday 25 July, 6.30pm

Engineering Lecture Theatre 401:439, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland 

Global interest in cooperative housing is on the rise and already proving a popular arrangement in Europe. As a result we are seeing an increase in groups of individuals collaborating to develop dwellings suited to their own needs. Often cooperative housing schemes will also comprise indoor and outdoor common spaces with a view to nurturing a sense of community.

Last year we heard from Melbourne architect James Legge regarding the Nightingale model, where participants act as their own development agency. The design is fine-tuned around both their particular concerns and economic options for creating quality outcomes through sustainable practices.

This year, Auckland architects Prue Fea, Thom Gill and Marianne Riley will introduce us to the projects they are involved in. They will discuss the benefits and concerns of cooperative housing, including financials, planning, and the dynamics of dealing with diverse groups of people.

Panel Discussion | What should happen on the Unitec site?

Wednesday 1 August, 6.30pm

Engineering Lecture Theatre 401:439, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland

The government recently announced their acquisition of a large chunk of the Auckland Unitec site. This is left-over land following the concentration of the Unitec campus into newly-built facilities.

Will this become Hobsonville Point mark two? While not as large as the Hobsonville development, the Unitec site is a considerable size with the potential to contribute 3,000 dwellings to the Kiwibuild programme. Kiwibuild's aim is to build 100,000 'affordable' houses over the next decade. Stretching between the Point Chevalier and Mount Albert shopping centres, the site offers green spaces, heritage buildings and convenient public transport connections. Furthermore, the new development may also be managed by the Hobsonville Land Company, now HLC.

This panel discussion will consider how the site should be developed. Panelists will also discuss how the interests of neighbouring communities, adjoining land-owners and mana whenua can add to a fully integrated urban community. Reporting on his Hobsonville Point research will be resident and Professor of Architecture, Errol Haarhoff. Errol will facilitate a discussion between Isthmus, Construkt Architects, Context Architects, ASC Architects and others. 

Jodi and Andrew Batay-Csorba (Toronto)

Wedneday 8 August, 6.30pm

Engineering Lecture Theatre 401:439, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland 

Take a look at the work of this young Canadian firm and you will discover how well medium density is doing in Toronto. Founded in 2010, Batay-Csorba Architects have received many awards and are widely published. Their work ranges across installation, interior design, architecture and urban design. Through careful design of sites and delight with materiality, they create great interior spaces and make positive contributions to the urban environment. Their three to four storey duplex houses are excellent examples of that typology.

This session presents timely insights as we come to grips with possibilities unleashed by Auckland's new inner city zones in the Unitary Plan.

Jodi and Andrew's visit to New Zealand has been organised in collaboration with the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

Hendrik Tieben | Towards Better Integration of Transport, Housing, Community Spaces in Hong Kong

Wednesday 15 August, 6.30pm

Design Theatre 423:348, 22 Symonds Street, Auckland 

Hong Kong, Macau and the Pearl River Delta Region are so densely developed they can be thought of as planetary-scale mega cities. Hendrik Tieben, architect and Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong, specialises in urban design.

In this talk he discusses how Hong Kong's housing, transport infrastructure and public spaces can be better integrated to create sustainable communities. The aim is to enhance the experience of the city's inhabitants, empowering them to contribute ideas to the creation of place. These are major challenges considering the scale of the urbanised environment and the size of the population.

The intensification of Auckland through the Unitary Plan pales in comparison to the megalopolises of this part of the Pacific Rim. However, we will gain valuable insights from Tieben’s work towards the life-enhancement of people in the heart of superdense urban environments. 

Phil Twyford | Housing, Urban Development and Transport

Wednesday 29 August, 6.30pm

Engineering Lecture Theatre 401:439, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland 

As both Minister of Housing and Urban Development, and Minister of Transport, the Honourable Phil Twyford has considerable involvement with urban issues throughout the country. Chief among these are housing crisis concerns and the development of public transport.

We have seen significant shifts in government policy following the formation of the Labour-led government in 2017. With an aim to produce 100,000 'affordable' houses over the next decade, the Kiwibuild strategy is a predominant component of this policy. Major announcements on light rail in Auckland have also proved a prominent feature.

Join us to hear the Minister discuss current issues and new initiatives.

Orchid Atimalala (Auckland)

Wednesday 5 September, 6.30pm

Design Theatre 423:348, 22 Symonds Street, Auckland

Graduate of the University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning, Orchid Atimalala was recently appointed Chair of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Trust Board. She becomes both the first woman Chair of the Board, and first person of Pacific descent to occupy the seat.

Orchid's near 30-year career in the planning industry includes an extensive background working with local government organisations. Orchid specialises in community and stakeholder consultation, and relationship management with local and central government. She has worked in a variety of strategic advisory and governance roles including various Auckland Councils and currently the Ministry of Education.

In this talk, Orchid will reflect on her career and experiences. She will also discuss the Museum's direction and aspirations as it seeks to embrace diversity in recognition of Auckland's multicultural demographic.

Panel Discussion | Architects Discuss Design for Medium Density

Wednesday 19 September, 6.30pm

Engineering 401:439, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland

As part of this year's Festival of Architecture, winners of the Multi-unit Housing category at the 2018 NZIA Auckland Branch Awards discuss their work. Other medium density projects on the drawing board will also be discussed by a panel comprising Stevens Lawson Architects, Monk McKenzie, Paul Brown Architects, Jasmax, TOA and Hunter Hindmarsh.

This session will look at examples of good design, demonstrating what makes terraced housing and apartment complexes work well. Can very small, affordable apartments be successful? What is the best way of providing successful outdoor space? How do we design lobbies that promote neighbourliness? Can apartment buildings establish a sense of community? Are townhouses an efficient use of land?

Sue Evans | Housing New Zealand

Wednesday 26 September, 6.30pm

Engineering 401:439, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland

The government's recent 'housing stocktake' paints a sobering picture of the housing crisis, highlighting the social costs and benefits of housing quality. The current shortfall of housing in Auckland alone is estimated to be at around 28,000 dwellings. Sue Evans is Manager Urban Design at Housing New Zealand. She has extensive experience in medium density housing, public space design, city planning, design review, design education and property development. Sue has helped fashion new places in our cities and has been involved with policy change to encourage better place-shaping. Her presentation outlines case studies from Housing New Zealand where real quality and liveability gains have been made within medium density typologies.

Sue is an enthusiastic advocate for smart urban design and its potential to create better functioning places with improved safety, less crime and greater social connectivity. For Housing New Zealand developments, this fosters increased pride and better social outcomes.

This talk will also profile recently consented apartment projects in Auckland and Wellington including the use of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).