Adapted identity : a classical experiment on three iconic buildings
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Citation:Anderson, A. (2020). Adapted identity : a classical experiment on three iconic buildings. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5225
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5225
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can Auckland’s central business district retain its historic architectural identity while glass towers proliferate? ABSTRACT: Auckland City Council are actively encouraging tall buildings of up to 400 metres high in the Central Business District (CBD). The changes in the Auckland Unitary Plan have produced a masterplan that illustrates a city centre crowded with skyscrapers which tower above the CBD and dwarf the heritage buildings below. In the past, these types of development have resulted in the demolition of heritage buildings or a compromise; the controversial technique of facadism where development retains a token gesture of heritage in return for a multi-storey tower above. This results in the controversial technique of facadism where development retains a token gesture of heritage in return for a multi-storey tower above. It is claimed that the logic of an ‘all-glass’ tower development provides a ‘neutral’ architectural language that does not conflict with the token heritage component that is retained5. However, it leaves the city with a new identity that has little or no architectural heritage to reflect the history of Aotearoa. How can Auckland’s CBD retain its historic architectural identity while glass towers proliferate? The cultural identity of Auckland’s CBD is being slowly eroded a building at a time, similarly to Theseus’ Ship. This project explores an alternative way of respecting heritage while still allowing for development. Based on international precedents, it investigates different techniques of designing developments to be built over and above heritage buildings. To test the design proposals, three heritage buildings: Auckland Town Hall, Dilworth Building and Auckland Railway Station, have been selected with the hypothetical notion that towers may be built above them. In the experiment, the ‘control’ design is a simple glass tower. The possible variables, based on a study of precedents, are introduced as concept designs and then refined. Whether or not the experiment is successful is for others to judge. The focus of the project is as much on the technique of the experiment as it is on the final result. It does not claim to find ideal solution, instead providing a basis on which to challenge the notion that glass skyscrapers in some way retain heritage of both individual buildings and the CBD as a whole.