Revitalising the Huntly Power Station

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Ramtano, Jean-Damien
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Jadresin-Milic, Renata
McConchie, Graeme
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Huntly, New Zealand
New Zealand
thermal power stations
building adaptive reuse
Regional Rapid Rail (RRR) (N.Z.)
North Island Main Trunk (NIMT) (N.Z.)
urban regeneration
transport hubs
train stations
Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga rapid rail
Ramtano, J.-D. (2019). Revitalising the Huntly Power Station. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)).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
RESEARCH QUESTION: How could a redundant Huntly Power Station be adapted to reconnect with its community? ABSTRACT: Many industrial buildings in New Zealand are located in ‘less populated’ rural settings but nonetheless, provide for the cities they surround. The Huntly Power Station is one example. This coal and gas power station has been a significant part of the community for more than three decades. It has contributed to the township of Huntly in both positive and negative ways from being a source of work and income for locals while at the same time polluting the environment around it. Having observed the building for many years, it has become evident to me that it is quickly losing purpose and functionality. This is arising from New Zealand’s attempts to lower the country’s C02 emissions. Coal and gas-powered stations are a threat to the environment as they produce high levels of harmful gases and, as a result, the Huntly power station is at risk of closure. However, this does not mean that we must lose the building along with its function. The act of revitalizing an existing building instead of demolishing and constructing a new building is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach. However, it is common practice in New Zealand to get rid of buildings that have become redundant and replace them with new ones. Huntly is at risk of losing an important part of their community. However, due to its recent construction, the building currently lacks heritage listing requirements, thus making it vulnerable to demolition. This raises the question, what does the Huntly Power Station possess in terms of architectural heritage? Even though a building is only of importance to a minority, it does not mean that it does not deserve to be protected or offered a lifeline. It is possible for these buildings to continue to contribute to the community through careful adaptive re-design to release their untapped potential. This project aims to revitalise the Huntly Power Station so that it may reconnect with its community though its re-design as a Transport Hub. A transformation that is likely to have particular significance given the future plans for the fast rail between Auckland and Hamilton. Through a review of existing architectural works (literature and precedents) that explored the current knowledge on adaptive reuse, along with research from other related fields such as conservation and sustainability, a design response was formulated to enable the Huntly Power Station to function primarily as a transport hub in the future. This design recognises the existing Architectural value of the Power Station and effectively uses the building’s resources to meet the needs of the community now and into the future.
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