A dweller’s journey to… RE:CONNECT

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Gajjar, Bhavya
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Schnoor, Christoph
Foote, Hamish
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Shortland Street (Auckland, N.Z.)
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
public spaces
pedestrian traffic flows
architecture and space
memory in architecture
sense of place
COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-
social connection
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Gajjar, B. (2021). A dweller’s journey to… RE:CONNECT. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)).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/10652/5757
RESEARCH QUESTION How can we create versatile public spaces that are both open and intimate to enhance our society’s engagement with physical reality? ABSTRACT The year 2020 presented a shocking turning point in our freedom to travel and experience places. Most, if not all countries around the world went into nationwide lock-downs due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. This pandemic brought new ways of living daily life. One of its most extensive effects was the limitation of people travelling to other places around the world. Our experiences of everyday life were limited to our home or immediate neighbourhoods. The cities’ dynamic had changed. People were living with memories of places they could not go to—these memories of feeling at home, being with loved ones or simply experiencing new places. The memory of life before the pandemic is engraved in everyone’s lives as the world starts to move toward living with this new threat. It reminds us of human interaction and connection with people and places. New Zealand is made up of people from all different paths in life, from locations all over the world. The experiences from places all around the world are brought back when we return home. Whether they are memories of previous hometowns or new places visited through leisure and travel. With each memory comes multiple dreamscapes. Each thought holds some emotional value and attachment. The idea of our memories of places we can no longer visit was the inspiration for the research project. The project investigates how memory, spatial storytelling and understanding of the urban public space can impact architecture. The research project addresses the notion of intimacy, openness, and public space. The idea of memory guides us to relive an experience. The architect’s goal is to create not only buildings but also to design places. Spatial storytelling has been identified as a major design method for this project. Architecture can be a medium to fundamentally narrate tales and events in time, or of a period through the sequential unfolding of geometry and spaces. The notion of narrative adds value to the architecture and the spectators generating an emotional or sensational response that may be iconic. The purpose of this project is to establish a modern-day creation of public architecture and space that challenges the normalities of our current reality and promotes social interaction. The architectural intervention tests how a dream-like setting can embody the essence of the past and present, creating a journey through the public and private realms. The aim of the research project is to interpret the relationship of intimacy and openness in the public realm through architectural elements in the urban environment. The project wishes to enable the dweller to step out of the everyday and into a destination with a means of escape. SITE: 28 Shortland Street, Auckland, New Zealand
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