Te Ara Hou

Te Ara Hou flats in Constable Street, Newtown was the first complex to be upgraded as part of the Wellington City Council housing upgrade program and is the ‘flag ship’ project for this major government and council funded initiative.

The overarching aim was to upgrade the social housing to achieve a safe, secure and healthy environment suitable for modern living.

Novak+Middleton in conjunction with the Wellington City Council decided that the building should be given a ‘new life’. This involved generally stripping the building back to the existing structure and going again.

Te Ara Hou is Wellington’s first sustainable social housing upgrade project. It involved initiatives such as insulation, ventilation, waterproofing, double glazed windows and the installation of heating to the existing buildings. Significant landscaping including trees, private and public courtyards, a vegetable garden and a fully upgraded ‘taniwha’ inspired playground has also been included in the upgrade.

Te Ara Hou represents a very exciting step forward in public social housing. This upgrade has significantly improved the living conditions and lives for many people who are in need.

NZ Institute of Architects Award

Sustainable Architecture