An innovative housing system based on modular elements.

  • Small houses built on the design of early colonial cottages
  • Easily erected and taken down
  • Ideal for first homes, studios, garages, eco-villages & holiday homes

Last century early settlers often came to New Zealand and Australia with the basics for a small house: doors, windows, latches, etc. When they arrived the first house was often quickly built with these elements installed.

As resources were acquired, the home was often retrofitted with timber sawn from the surrounding bush. Over the years more units were added and the dwelling matured.

Many of these houses can be seen today in most of New Zealand’s major cities. Their charm remains and there is a growing interest in their preservation and restoration.

These houses had another virtues. Their aesthetics have a universal appeal and their simplicity hides a sophistication of design and ease of construction.

Updown Housing has two separate modules, that can be put together in any number of combinations. These modules can be de-constructed into their components and shifted to different locations.

The houses lend themselves to upgrades with the addition of recent innovations: solar power, greywater recycling, and recyclable construction materials.

Housing History

Kevin Scally

Some years ago I built a studio-workshop with a dim idea of the difficulties of permanence. I invested a number of years building the thing and I now have an irrational attachment to it.

I would like to take it down and move it to another location but it is fixed, rock solid to the site. For me it functions with such efficiency that the thought of rebuilt

ding or shifting it is not a prospect I like to think about.

What if it had been designed to be taken down and reconstructed easily? It is full of fittings easily unscrewed and removed to access the wall cavities. Some of the actual building is screwed and bolted for easy access.

For example, the main entrance of French doors is assembled for easy removal so a whole car can be taken in for restoration. When the restoration is finished, the door can be removed in a few minutes and the complete car or large project can be taken out without major disruption.

After finishing the building I decided to research the history of house construction especially in New Zealand. That lead to revisiting the early construction designs with new materials, features and fittings. UpDown Housing was the result.

This research has continued and I have given some thought to the nature of a house and I think it is time to return to smaller houses for a variety of reasons.

Housing Plans