Ways of knowing = [Founga ʻo ʻilo]: A knowledge hub for Tonga

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Authors
Muller, Phillipp
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Degree
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Grantor
Unitec Institute of Technology
Date
2021
Supervisors
Schnoor, Christoph
Hoskins, Raoul
Kelderman, Maurits
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
Nukuʻalofa (Tonga)
Tonga
library architecture
libraries
Tongan architecture
indigenous architecture
architecture and culture
Pasifika
Citation
Muller, P. (2021). Ways of knowing = [Founga ʻo ʻilo]: A knowledge hub for Tonga. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)).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/10652/5822
Abstract
RESEARCH QUESTION How can contemporary architecture intervene in Tonga to provide a re-imagination of a library in the Pacific? ABSTRACT It was only in 2019 that the first public library in Tonga was opened. And even this library is not enough to cater to the wider needs of Tonga. The project implements a library that contributes to the needs of Tongans locally and globally. The library is a building commonly known for storing, preserving, and consuming knowledge. The role of the library and ways of consuming knowledge have changed over time. From the storage of books to readily available digital information, knowledge consumption also changes with time. As the library evolves, so does the function. With modern libraries incorporating community spaces for social interaction and more, the evolving programme opens opportunities for what a library can become. The project teases out the merging of traditional Tongan knowledge with modern and digital methods. The integration of the three knowledge systems gave the opportunity to explore how the programme of a library has progressed. This project reimagines what a library can become for the Pacific and Tonga. Traditional knowledge has been passed down orally for generations. With the traditional knowledge being kept by the elders in Tonga, access to cultural information becomes difficult to attain. As the world shifts in its ways of living, cultural knowledge is in danger of being forgotten. While the loss of cultural knowledge is taking place, so too is the architectural identity of Tonga. This project seeks to preserve Tongan knowledge and reflect it through contemporary Tongan architecture. Looking at the problem of a contemporary library through a cultural lens, this research project provides an architectural reimagination of a library in Tonga. With that, it suggests what a contemporary library can be in the Pacific. SITE: Nukuʻalofa, Tonga
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