Celebrating New Zealand Rail Infrastructure

Mei Wang

Mini Golf 2

Within the last two decades, New Zealand has seen substantial population growth, a growth far exceeding investment levels in the transportation infrastructure that serves the nation. This lack of investment is reflected in the population's perception and usage of the infrastructure whereby it is 'enjoyed' but not necessarily celebrated, and likewise, neither are the journeys they facilitate.

Therefore, the larger question this thesis raises is: 'how can we celebrate our infrastructure architecturally?'

This thesis presents a speculative project which focuses on revitalising New Zealand's railways.

The current rail infrastructure in New Zealand is under-used, presenting an architectural opportunity. Rather than proposing new train stations viable only in the economic context of cities, this thesis offers an alternative.

The architectural celebration of the rail infrastructure would be located on the train itself, presenting wider benefits for New Zealand, and most importantly - for the provinces.

This proposal opens up the possibilities of designing cultural infrastructure via event apparatus. Cultural infrastructure brought from the city to the provinces also allows for further demands to be met by linking rail. An opportunity for rural regions to have their cultural sphere enlarged - even if temporarily, can benefit them greatly. The mobile typology is not specific to those regions but can be configured to various sites.

Architecturalising rail infrastructure may present the rail network with an ability to adapt and expand, contract, reconfigure and enhance how we travel through changing geographical and social contexts. It may also facilitate and improve a sense of amalgamation of New Zealand's history, culture and landscape within the experience of a journey.

Aggrandising rail transportation could change how our society uses, experiences and perceives the infrastructural rail system – from the beginning, through the journey and on to a final destination.

Conceptual Drawings 3
Early conceptual designs
Bike Hire
Spa Salon
Minigolf 1
Mini golf garden
Mini Golf 2
Mini golf garden
Cinema Stage
Concert cinema stage
Bubble Concert Stage
Concert recreational stage
Table With Models
Spa Perspective 2 A3 Resized
Spa sauna salon interior perspective
Perspectives A1
Rairimu event set up
Render 3 Taihape
Taihape event set up