The Village Thing


There’s an empirical wisdom in the planning world:

  • The minimum size for a community is about 3—400 people
  • The maximum size for a community is about 10,000 people
  • The IDEAL size of a community is about 7,000 people

That’s a Village – a political and economic reality. Smaller and it’s impossible to maintain a sustainable and independent economic existence; larger and an individual has no effective voice.

The Village is a universal settlement form, one that everyone can imagine themselves in. We love them, so have made them a specialty. Whatever the setting, we’re experts at designing them – shaping the boundary conditions to create identity, designing for density to establish critical mass, providing the internal structure to initiate community.

We loathe suburbia and distant employment silos created by our current planning rules. Shifting to a Village form requires a complete rework of not only the planning framework but also building and architectural forms. Through a number of projects over a number of years we’ve developed pathways through the mire of conventionality so that now everyone wonders what all the fuss was about.

Portfolio examples
Project list
  • Ahuareka Estate
  • Margaret River Hamlets
  • Hornby Housing
  • Jacks Point
  • Waimauku Estate
  • Wilson Home
  • Lake Ohakuri
  • Mapara Valley Structure Plan
  • Rangitahi Peninsula
  • Tuahiwi (Kaiapoi Maori reserve)
Client list
  • Shire of Augusta Margaret River
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Darby Partners
  • Cornerstone Group Ltd
  • Carter Holt Harvey
  • Taupo District Council
  • Waimakariri District Council
  • Client name Ltd.
  • Client name Ltd.
  • Environmental and planning assessment
  • Context and site analysis
  • Site framework plans
  • Planning strategy
  • Concept and development plans
  • Detailed plans
  • Architectural typologies and design guidance
  • Structure Plan and resource consents
  • Community consultation