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Ingenious house wows locals at landlocked Paekakariki


An eco-home that’s the first of its kind in Paekakariki wowed curious locals at its public karakia on Saturday, and ushered in what many hope is the beginning of a new era in utilising the limited space of the town.

A diverse crowd of over two hundred locals toured Hunter Architecture’s Wellington Road home, and learned about the sustainable technology and design ideas which helped optimise the narrow site into three separate floors of space.

Architectural designer Darren Hunter said he was overwhelmed by the turn out, and incredibly pleased feedback was so positive.

“New Zealanders have to start using space wisely, and I think everyone who came through to view the house appreciates that,” he said.

“This was absolutely a passion project and also a challenge to prove you can have more than one house on the same space and make it aesthetically interesting, pleasing, and as environmentally friendly as possible.”

Like many areas of New Zealand, soaring prices on the Kapiti Coast are causing housing shortages in the area, and with Transmission Gully due to open in 2020, statisticians say the crisis will only get worse.

Sharon and Darren Hunter believe in future proofing their designs by creating specifically for homeowner’s needs, meaning nothing is wasted - an ideology which they said was appreciated by Paekakariki public.

Sharon Hunter said most people she spoke to at the open home agreed thereneeds to be a shift in the way New Zealanders think about housing.

“We are all different we all have different lives and different needs – we need to build a home to suit our individual needs rather than going for what we’ve always done before,” she said. “Some people don’t have children, some people may have an elderly parent living with them…let’s create something that fits the individual.”

The Hunter’s believe their Paekakariki home is a blueprint to help remedy an issue affecting many New Zealand towns. Building homes to suit individual needs, and with an awareness of the environment, negates urban sprawl and maintains a community’s heart.

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