Sculpting a township’s identity: Enhancing the identity of Helensville through integration of sculpture

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Studholme, Troy Albert John Ivil
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Rennie, Julian
Pusateri, John
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Helensville (N.Z.)
New Zealand
Auckland (N.Z.)
sense of place
place identity
satellite townships
public art
urban art
art in public spaces
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Studholme, T. A. J. I. (2020). Sculpting a township’s identity: Enhancing the identity of Helensville through integration of sculpture. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can architecture enhance identity within a satellite township of Auckland, fostering an arts-based industry related to that town's identity? ABSTRACT: Identity is essential to a sense of belonging. For a community, a strong sense of identity can bring people together and foster pride. A community's architecture becomes an integral part of developing identity; either as artefacts of a place's history or drivers for the future to come. Looking for context in the wider surroundings of a community provides further drivers for developing identity. Some townships surrounding Auckland have begun to stagnate in their efforts to preserve their identity and strengthen it for the future. This stagnation is a result of a hesitancy to explore different financial avenues within towns and the underutilisation of existing identity. The approach first identifies the appropriate township to research, then locates suitable sites for new and restorative architecture within the chosen town. The research next investigates the history of the town to provide a context for the development of its future identity. A hypothetical model is then developed as a vision of a potential future. The objective is to create a masterplan that can be used to progress art-based industry and identity of the township. Through architecture, artists can exhibit their work and engage with the public at various stages throughout their creative process. Individual artists will be able to immerse themselves in their art and the identity of the place they inhabit. This can be achieved through meaningful design and strong connection to place identity.
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