Architecture Dissertations and Theses

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    Of this place: Reimagining architectural education in Aotearoa
    (2023) Carran, Victoria Anne; Unitec, Te Pūkenga
    RESEARCH QUESTION How can the design of an architecture campus reflect tangata whenua values and our location with Aotearoa and Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa? ABSTRACT This Research Project is a direct challenge to Aotearoa's established architectural education system, which assumes the assimilation of tauira into the dominant Pākehā worldview.2 Before European contact, Māori architectural practice had been developing in sync with the cycles of nature for several centuries. Despite this, mainstream education has failed to value Māori architecture and its principles. Instead, academic and accreditation institutions gate keep the education of architects using systems that recolonise indigenous people and continue to harm the natural world. Architecture schools teach using imported design references, theories, methods, and practices that lack relevance to our communities and are disconnected from the environment of Aotearoa. This non-contextual way of teaching architecture deters many (especially Māori) from entering the industry, and it fails to prepare tauira for their responsibility as future place-makers. This research imagines the return of Aotearoa’s architectural education to a grounding in the principles of Te Ao Māori. It highlights the potential of Mātauranga Māori in preparing tauira to design holistic, environmentally and culturally safe built environments. The principles expressed in the research and interviews will inform the design of a new whare wānanga where the wellbeing of tauira is prioritised, educational opportunities are grounded in the local community, and the natural world is placed at the centre of the learning environment. SITE PROJECT: The whare wānanga will be located at Ihumātao (Te Ihu ō Mataoho), in Tāmaki Makaurau
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    Perceiving place: How can a gallery use the five senses to enhance remembrance and provide an inclusive multisensory experience?
    (2023) Harrison, Regan; Unitec, Te Pūkenga
    The human body is gifted with the ability to perceive, interact and experience space using our senses. This research project explores the intricate relationship between human sensory perception, architecture, and memory, focusing on the historical and cultural context of Aotearoa, New Zealand. This project delves into the impact of colonisation and decolonisation, focusing on the case of Rangipuke, Albert Park in Auckland. It explores the concept put forward by Author Jennifer Cole of ‘historical forgettng’ and the intentional suppression of memories related to the colonial past. The project seeks to follow Linda Tuhiwai Smith‘s line of argument for the importance of acknowledging and integrating indigenous perspectives and methodologies in the process of decolonisation. By bridging the gap between historical memory and modern everyday life, the research emphasises the need to transform existing structures and design philosophies within museums and public spaces. Equally, the research project examines sensory experiences in architecture through the lens of phenomenology, drawing on the works of influential theorists like Juhani Pallasmaa, Peter Zumthor and Christian Norberg-Schulz. Pallasmaa has suggested to go beyond the conventional understanding of the five senses, to include the atmospheric sense. Exploring this sixth sense reveals the integral role of sensory perception in experiencing a space. Pallasmaa’s concept of atmosphere emphasises that the mood and essence of a space cannot be fully apprehended through visual stimuli alone; this needs to be a bodily sensory experience. This notion aligns with the insights of Swiss Architect Peter Zumthor, who underscores the intricate relationship between senses and memories, asserting that our recollection of a space is intricately intertwined with our sensory connections. Consequently, sensory experience emerges as an inseparable companion to the notion of memory. Adopting a sensory-driven approach to design thus becomes a compelling means to establish and evoke a profound connection to architecture and place. This research project seeks to create an architectural intervention that fosters a genuine connection between visitors and Albert Park, enabling the past to thrive and empowering its entry into the future. By utilising the full range of human senses and integrating cultural and historical contexts, the interactive installations within the park will serve as a means of storytelling, evoking emotions, and providing a multi-sensory experience to connect all visitors to place.
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    Designed for the elderly
    (2023) Fu, Libo; Unitec, Te Pūkenga
    With the rising global population of older adults, the design of elderly care facilities has gained significant attention. This study focuses on the planning and design of public spaces within retirement, specifically exploring the concept of utilizing an art gallery as a means to enhance the attributes of these spaces. The objective is to create public areas that not only meet the functional needs of older adults but also stimulate their cognitive, emotional, and social well-being. The issue of aging has received more and more attention around the world. As our country experiences a growing elderly population due to demographic shifts, there is a corresponding rise in the emergence of industries catering to the needs of older adults. Clothing, food, housing, and transportation are essential parts of daily life. The number of older people is continuously expanding, and their demand is concentrated, which puts higher requirements on the space design of retirement buildings. New Zealand’s old-age care model for special groups of the elderly is immature. We still need to learn from local and foreign experiences to optimize the building of nursing homes to provide a better environment for patients and other special elderly groups. Through an extensive review of literature on elderly care facility design, art therapy, and the benefits of art in aging populations, this research establishes a foundation for the integration of an art gallery within retirement village public spaces. Art has been recognized for its therapeutic qualities, including promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and enhancing cognitive functions. By incorporating an art gallery into the design, nursing homes can provide residents with an enriched environment that fosters personal expression, engagement, and cultural stimulation. This study first introduces the research background of the design process for elderly people. Secondly, it studies the development status of the elderly’s residential houses through different classifications of residential living environments, summarizes different pension models, and seeks out the parts that different pension models can learn from each other. Ultimately, research on the existing problems of the institutional pension model Thirdly, it studies the site planning issues of institutions for the elderly. In terms of design issues, through the study of specifications and the investigation of related cases, the site design was quantitatively studied. Fourthly, this chapter studies the design of the retirement village and introduces the functional composition of the building: living space, service space, transportation space, public space, nursing space, auxiliary space, etc. Finally, we summarized the combination mode of the largest functional space—the living space—from small to large. The fifth is the application of research results to the project. PROJECT SITE: Flat Bush, Auckland, New Zealand
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    Water villages: Towards holistically resilient water villages
    (2022) Deverell, Zara; Unitec, Te Pūkenga
    RESEARCH QUESTION How can biophilic architecture be used to design a holistically resilient water village? ABSTRACT A Water Village: Towards Holistic Resilience Humans’ reliance on nature and nature’s subjection to humans has been neglected to the point where coastal communities are in danger economically, environmentally, and socially. Urbanisation of coastal areas has resulted in an increase in land prices and climate-induced impacts largely as a result of urbanisation. Auckland’s urbanisation has not been met with sufficient housing supply; thus, its demand for affordable housing has not been met. Land in Auckland now accounts for up to 60% of property value; this, in combination with the scarcity of land, threatens gentrification in Auckland. Water villages can provide the advantage of “land” availability at a potentially low cost. Additionally, the impacts of climate change pose a threat to coastal areas despite efforts to reduce sea level rise and the impacts of flooding. Global sea levels are expected to rise 0.6m by 2100; however, parts oF Aotearoa, New Zealand, could face a larger sea level rise of 1.2 m due to the addition of land subsidence. The Auckland housing crisis demands new solutions to these issues. The aim of this research project is to assess the feasibility of a water village in Auckland. It is an experiment. The research aims to explore the relationship between biophilic architecture and resilience to move towards holistic resilience in the context of a water village. Historically, water villages have primarily been a means of defence; however, in the 21st century, they have become elitist developments that are exclusive by design. This can be overcome by implementing biophilic design techniques.This research project will investigate and analyse historical and modern water villages as well as investigate relevant literature and theory on the correlation between biophilia and resilience; the project will apply Philip Roo’s biophilic design patterns in combination with research on technical aspects of water villages to establish means to articulate a water village that moves towards holistic resilience. Thus assessing the feasibility of potential water villages in Auckland.
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    Fauna of feathers: Bird sanctuary and hospital
    (2023) Foote, Kahli; Unitec, Te Pūkenga
    RESEARCH QUESTION How could an architectural proposition assist in providing for the sustainability, and an educational experience, of wild-life fauna and their natural habitats, in New Zealand and from elsewhere in our world? ABSTRACT What would be the impact on New Zealand if native birds ceased to exist? Birds and the natural environment are crucial to human growth, knowledge and survival. Even so, humans continue to negatively impact the environment, contributing to a downward trend in the state of our planet and eventually, this decline could lead to the end of life on our planet for all living species. The function of conservation and protection of these native bird species is becoming increasingly more crucial to their survival as the majority of the New Zealand birds still present are migratory or flightless. The “Fauna of Feathers” project addresses the city of Auckland’s dearth of avian conservation and protection facilities. A hypothetical architectural approach would focus on giving back to native species and the environment whilst also allowing a wide range of professions access to education opportunities. A comprehensive analysis of the conservation and sustainability of native fauna and flora, biodiversity, ornithology and biophilic design through literature and precedent reviews will be conducted in order to create a responsive architectural outcome that takes into account the natural environment.