• YEAR
    Southcombe, Mark
    2017 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers


In the early 1970s Michael Payne had a national reputation from housing design experience in
Hong Kong and the Osaka Expo 70 project. Payne’s previous work and Quaker background led to
appointment as architect for a new Quaker community in Whanganui. His design for an intentional
community of friends was informed by international experience in housing design and travel, including to
foundational Danish co‐housing communities soon after they were established. The Quaker Settlement
was built over twenty five years and now consists of 17 houses around a number of unique common
facilities. They are consistent in design, yet individual. They are an early example of New Zealand low
energy, solar, and environmentally sustainable design. Importantly they have been socially sustainable in
operation for over 40 years. The Quaker Settlement is an important built exemplar of Payne’s vision and
legacy that remains highly relevant today. Cohousing is once again a focus in New Zealand, however
groups and architects are struggling to realise projects, or articulate the integrated architectural and social
means necessary to create them. This paper revisits the project to determine contexts of its production,
to document key characteristics for future reference, and to distil its enduring relevance.


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