“Strengthening Ha’apai”. An architectural research project exploring the history of Pangai’s fish market and port, proposing a working outcome to strengthening the Ha’apai island group
Pedreira, Juan Blas
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Citation:Pedreira, J. B. (2018). “Strengthening Ha’apai”. An architectural research project exploring the history of Pangai’s fish market and port, proposing a working outcome to strengthening the Ha’apai island group. Master Explanatory Document. Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4320
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can a waterfront architectural proposition uplift the current socio-economic problems in Ha’apai, while providing a cyclone resilient solution? Nature has the capacity to produce an overwhelming feeling of joy. We take nature for granted; but what if nature fought back? What if the welcoming gentle breeze on a hot day turned into a storm? Would you be prepared? For life in the Pacific Islands, nature isn’t always kind. In the past 10 years Tonga has fronted 7 high category tropical cyclones. This project addresses the effects that various tropical cyclones have had on Tonga, Ha’apai. Each cyclone adding damage to an already bruised economy and its infrastructure in Ha’apai. It has affected financial security and brought 1 “List of Tropical Cyclones that have affected at least a part of Tonga from 1960 - Present,” accessed April 2, 2018, http://www.met. gov.to/index_files/TC_list_update.pdf uncertainty for the future. In order to ensure a positive future for the Ha’apai Group locals must understand how to build to withstand the harsh tropical conditions. Western influenced architecture is not the solution. As the world becomes more accessible the core values and traditions of countries like Tonga are becoming vulnerable. An essential intent for the architecture and it programme is to create a hub where anga fakatonga (‘the Tongan Way’) is expressed and celebrated. Additionally, this project will explore how an assimilation between traditional Tongan architecture and modern technologies can produce resilience against the harsh tropical climate. Explicitly, this research project will focus around revitalising the existing wharf and waterfront, in an attempt to strengthen Ha’apai’s main income sources - tourism and fisheries - analysing mechanisms to integrate an interactive public precinct into Pangai’s waterfront. The new waterfront will play an active role in providing the people a place to sell their produce that they gather from the land and sea. It will also become a new place where tourists and local inhabitants can interact. Making the Ha’apai islands more appealing to the tourists, while also giving locals the opportunity for a financial gain