Interstitial city: An Exploration into the porosity of Karangahape

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Churchward, Rhiannon
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Melchiors, Lucia
Rennie, Julian
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Karangahape Road (Auckland, N.Z.)
Auckland CBD (N.Z.)
New Zealand
public spaces
pedestrian traffic flows
architecture and community
train stations
public transportation nodes
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Churchward, R. (2021). Interstitial city: An Exploration into the porosity of Karangahape. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
RESEARCH QUESTION How can porosity within the urban fabric be utilised to positively shape the everyday environment and facilitate walkability and positive public space? ABSTRACT Moveability is inherent to the quality of life in cities. However, for the last 50 years, Auckland has been predominantly dominated by car orientated urban design. While this is changing, now is the time to actively explore the potential of how people move within our cities through pedestrian focused design. The design attitudes of the previous 50 years have left a physical mark on the Auckland urban landscape. Large city blocks and wide roads are still obstacles that affect the walkability and connectivity of the city. These issues are present in the Karangahape area. Karangahape Road was cut through and off by the motorway construction, leaving it alienated from its surroundings. This condition significantly changed the area’s social context, and has contributed to a unique cultural richness. However the current social character is again facing change with the construction of the Karangahape train station, which is expected to spark significant development in the area. While this could provide an exciting opportunity, the area is likely experience urban renewal. This project aims to reclaim the porosity in the urban fabric of in Karangahape to create pedestrian connections through a series of architectural and urban design interventions developed in two phases. The first is creating a physical connection for pedestrians and the second is building a cultural connection to the Karangahape area. The aim is to showcase the history and inform the public about Karangahape’s story and cultural significance. The public interacts with architecture on a daily basis. In the urban context, the quality of the architecture considerably shapes the environment and how people move through it as pedestrians. This is tested through the development of a design response. Porosity, public space, and urban acupuncture theories are first explored to inform a design that effectively facilitates walkability and the cultural narratives present in Karangahape to foster physical and social connection. The project is based on a desire to create a journey that preserves and promotes the cultural landscape while also utilising porosity for pedestrian movements. Connectivity is achieved through interventions that tap into porosity and public space in the urban fabric and interweave a programme that is responsive to the sites and their narratives.
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