Onehunga waterfront and climate adaptation : a Unitec Landscape/Architecture studio

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Wang, Xinxin
Melchiors, Lucia
Bradbury, Matthew
Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
architecture education
landscape architecture education
architecture students
Onehunga Port project (Auckland, N.Z.)
Panuku Development Auckland (N.Z.)
climate change
coastal hazards
waterfront architecture
Unitec courses
sea level rise
Wang, X., Melchiors, L.C., & Bradbury, M. (2020). Onehunga waterfront and climate adaptation: A Unitec Landscape/Architecture studio. Asylum 2020/4, 190-199.
This paper discusses the potential of a landscape/architecture student joint studio to develop design strategies for a waterfront development that adapts to the environmental challenges of climate change. The authors developed a studio methodology to help students build collaboration and capacity to address real-world problems. The collaborative approach started with the deliberate engagement of a multiplicity of stakeholders, drawn from government agencies, practitioners, the community and mana whenua. The studio approach offered architecture and landscape architecture students the opportunity to work in teams, to conduct critical research and to address critical contemporary issues through the design process. Using the Port of Onehunga in Auckland as a case study, this paper presents the results of students’ collaboration with the Auckland Council development agency Panuku in 2019 and 2020. The selected student projects demonstrate how a collaboration between landscape architects and architects can contribute to creative solutions to address the effects of climate change. This process not only inspired innovative solutions in the first master plan phase, but also informed detailed interventions in the second building and publicspace design phase. The results of the studio work demonstrate that alternative design strategies to the current generic waterfront model could be developed. These strategies explicitly address environmental problems, such as sea-level rise, to develop a more resilient waterfront development. The results of the collaborative studio project bring valuable insights for the local community in their search for design strategies to adapt to climate change. The results of the studio also contribute to the international search for alternative solutions for the design of waterfront development projects around the world.
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