Cementing a future

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Acton, Laura
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Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Jadresin-Milic, Renata
Francis, Kerry
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Wilson's Cement Works (Warkworth, N.Z.)
Warkworth (N.Z.)
New Zealand
adaptive reuse of buildings
architectural adaptation
multipurpose buildings
cement industry
industrial buildings
crafts centres
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Acton, L. (2021). Cementing a future. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)).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/10652/5538
RESEARCH QUESTION How could the abandoned Wilson’s Cement Works facility in Warkworth be adapted to reconnect with its changing town and community? ABSTRACT New Zealand’s industrial heritage has been responsible for much of the growth and development of the nation, providing employment, and building communities. Many of these industrial buildings are now in a state of disrepair; undervalued by locals, with little consideration to re-purpose them. An example of this is the Wilson’s Cement Works on the outskirts of Warkworth. In the wake of their demise, the Cement Works ruins serve as an undeniably poignant reminder of past endeavours. Despite the lack of motivation to reconnect them to the town, they are a culturally significant set of buildings that are intrinsically linked to the society of Warkworth. Therefore, in a time when the community is going through a substantial change, an opportunity presents itself to heal this fractured relationship by weaving them together with the new fabric. Firstly, a process of rediscovery must take place prior to reintegrating the cement works. A narrative has been formed through an historical, architectural, and urban analysis to bring out the qualities of the material remaining, as well as the historical value. The research into the 19th century conservationists and industrial theorists has been combined with case studies, to derive adaptive reuse approaches specifically for this project. These approaches assist in creating a design response that reintegrates the community into the ruins whilst respecting all facets of the facility’s life. The programme considered for the site is a bio-based crafts college, and marketplace cafe. The outcome respects all the layers of history to enhance the experience of the aged structures.
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