The taualuga: A spatial study. A considered look at space and movement

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Leung-Wai, Martin
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Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Austin, Michael
Wagner, Cesar
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Samoan architecture
Samoan dance
spatial analysis
community centre architecture
vā (relational time/space)
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Leung-Wai, M. (2012). The taualuga: A spatial study. A considered look at space and movement. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)).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
This explanatory document aims to develop a spatial analysis of the taualuga; a Samoan traditional dance, as well as analysing Samoan architecture in terms of the village spatial organisation relating to the taualuga. The spatial analysis of the dance is based on a sequence of observations with the use of motion tracking. It generates architectural strategies such as central openness, interaction space and duality which become a tool to develop the design. Also the central public space is the core of this design which supports all elements within the site. It is the vā relationship that supports and unites the community together. The design is based on these cultural explorations and the programme is a Manukau Pacific community centre. The community centre provides exhibition spaces, galleries, library, archives space, private function rooms, retreats area, youth activity areas and recreational activities. These programmes are geared principally to benefit and attract the young people in Manukau city, but it will also be of use for the general community. The centre is a place of ritual and social activity which binds almost everything together. The courtyard or the malae is the core of this design which supports all these functions through Samoan principles of the vā.
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