Embodiment of New Zealand identity

Shriya Title Image
Hand Crafted 1:100 model of High Performance Centre

National identity is a collective understanding of the shared qualities that make nations distinct from each other. New Zealand’s identity is made up of characteristics that include land, people, politics and our history of war. 

One of the main characteristic that defines this generation of Kiwis is sport, with over 3/4 of the adult population involved in sport as part their weekly routine. As not only a generation, but also a nation that is driven by our sporting culture, we lack the facilities that enable elite athletes to reach their full potential. With only a few facilities scattered around the country, do you think this is enough for a budding sporting nation? The benefit of having facilities at a world class level not only allow these athletes to reach their peak physical condition, but will also have an impact on individuals supporting sport. 

Left Models
Hand Crafted 1:100 model of High Performance Centre
Right 2
Accomodation of High Performance Centre
Exterior Shot
Exterior image of High Performance Centre
Illustration of Merv Wallace Stand

The motivation behind this thesis is to create a form of architecture that captures the essence of New Zealand’s unique identity. Through this project we will learn and understand our national identity in order to create a space that embodies these qualities. 

The desired outcome it to create an atmosphere that encapsulates the unique national identity found in New Zealand throughout the space. This can be done through designing a form of architecture that is inspired by our culture and identity, through the design, programming, materials, atmosphere and colour palette, to create something unique, much like our national identity.

This project specifically focuses on Eden Park’s High Performance Centre, the national stadium of New Zealand. With its unique history from its humble beginnings as a swamp, to becoming the heart of New Zealand sport, Eden park makes an ideal location for this project. Eden Park’s current High Performance Centre is a model example of a rundown facility, which many athletes use to train for their specialised sport. As it is also an international cricket and rugby stadium, this centre is also used by international athletes. As a country that considers sport as part of its national identity, isn’t a quality high performance centre required at their national stadium?

The research required for this project includes a detailed analysis of New Zealand’s national identity, the sporting culture of the nation, and case studies on high performance centres within New Zealand. The information found from my research will better inform the design that is used to create centres that embody New Zealand’s diverse identity.