Hīhīaua : a Unitec Landscape / Architecture Studio

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Bradbury, Matthew
Wang, Xinxin
Byrd, Hugh
Melchiors, Lucia
Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Hīhīaua Peninsula, Whangārei, New Zealand
Unitec courses
architecture education
landscape architecture education
Pacific Indigenous & Local Knowledge Centre of Distinction (PILCD) (Hīhīaua Peninsula, Whangarei, N.Z.)
waterfront architecture
community centres
art centres
architecture and culture
Hīhīaua Cultural Centre
tourist bureaux
Bradbury, M., Wang, X., Byrd, H., & Melchiors, L.C. (2017). Hīhīaua - A Unitec Landscape/Architecture Studio. X-Section, 7, pp.16-23.
In 2015 Whangārei District Council initiated the development of an urban strategy document for the development of the city centre. The Hīhīaua Peninsula was identified as a site for a waterfront development. The proposed Hīhīaua Precinct Plan focused on a traditional urban waterfront masterplan with an intensification of built form in the shape of apartments and retail. In response to this proposal, the Momentum North group was established. This group, includes local businesses, property owners and stakeholders in Whangārei. The Momentum North group wished to develop a more nuanced masterplan for the development of the site, where working and living together forms a rounded community with an emphasis on the importance of cultural values and a sustainable environment. The community identified five themes that needed to be addressed in any development. WORK: More opportunity for employment in the area, PLAY: A destination for recreation for the citizens of Whangārei, LIVE: A great opportunity for people to live in the centre of Whangārei, LEARN: With the presence of He Puna Marama Charitable Trust, the Pacific Indigenous and Local Knowledge Centre of Distinction (Pacific Centre), the Northland Youth Theatre and the proposed Hīhīaua Cultural Centre, the peninsula could become a cultural and educational hub for Whangārei , VISIT: Hīhīaua has great potential as a tourist attraction. Momentum North contacted Unitec for assistance in developing an alternative masterplan Senior students in the Landscape and Architecture programmes in the Architecture Pathway responded to the challenge. This project was an opportunity to examine some of the underlying environmental conditions in the development of an urban waterfront, and address the desires and wishes of the stakeholders. Working with these conditions, students where asked to privilege the environmental and cultural factors and to develop a new planning methodology to ensure an ecologically and socially sustainable waterfront by working in a collaborative manner.
Unitec Institute of Technology
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