Exploring cultural gateways: Designing a new international airport terminal that represents New Zealand’s cultural identity

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Scott-Woods, Brendan
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Austin, Michael
Hewitt, John
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
airport design
New Zealand architecture
cultural identity
sense of place
airport terminal design
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Scott-Woods, B. (2011). Exploring cultural gateways: Designing a new international airport terminal that represents New Zealand’s cultural identity. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/1855
As a gateway to New Zealand, Auckland airport is one of the first impressions an international visitor will have, and the last impression they will have when leaving. This impression should convey our unique culture and do so through inspirational and innovative architectural forms. The purpose of my project is to produce an architectural solution to the following questions: - How does one represent New Zealand’s cultural identity through architectural form? - How can these forms be applied to architecture in the form of an airport terminal? The reason for this choice of topic arose during a visit to the existing Auckland International Airport (AIA) late last year to collect family members on their first trip to New Zealand. I was left feeling disappointed with what was to be their first impression of our country. I consider the architecture of AIA to be an incoherent assortment of architectural styles with superficial allusions to New Zealand culture. Like most international airport terminals, AIA is undergoing a continual refurbishment process to try and stay in vogue. Over the years, this has resulted in a shed like structure with numerous disconnected architectural styles, and an over-reliance upon two dimensional cultural representations that conceal unimaginative architectural structure, and lack a sense of place. The aim of this project is to design a new airport terminal in the Auckland area, with a greater sense of place than the current Auckland airport. My goal is to design an airport that gives a sense of place and provides an inspiring and welcoming first impression to visitors.
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