Composition Exercise

'Happy Hour at the Grogzone: Architectures of Alcoholic Aotearoa' is an ongoing investigation into how architecture can be used as a framework to interrogate New Zealand's binge-drinking culture. This thesis argues that alcohol as a substance is not the issue. Instead, it is the Kiwi attitude towards it which has contributed to the drinking culture currently prevalent in New Zealand society.

The paradox is that Kiwis are aware of this issue, but choose to hide behind a mask, brushing off binge-drinking as a social norm. Our nation's thick skin and masculine ideology culminate in the culture seen today.

Maito 1
Terminal Model

In two parts, this thesis investigates how architectural propositions can act as an incubator for social agency, firstly by using architecture as a medium to reveal the issue, then as an instigator to shift the culture.

A network of five urban disruptions is scattered throughout the Auckland CBD, acting as 'stations' which unveil specific programmes associated with our binge-drinking culture. These 'stations' converge at a 'terminal' which incorporates acts taken from the five stations, cross-pollinating these ideas into a social condenser which initiates a shift in Aotearoa's drinking culture.

Throughout this thesis, the programme will act as a narrative to represent and reinforce key ideas:1 exposing, facilitating and shifting the good, the bad and the ugly sides of drinking in Aotearoa.

The architectural explorations within 'Happy Hour at the Grogzone' argue that New Zealand's binge-drinking culture isn't entirely dictated by behaviour and the cultural climate, instead regulations and consequently architecture each play a significant role. The terminal building addresses this by using architecture as a framework to flip the existing legislation around alcohol consumption. It presents a hyper-real and exaggerated version of this environment to maximise the exposure of this topic and further the discourse on how regulation impacts spaces and in turn, social behaviour.

Tschumi, Architecture and Disjunction, 205.

Maito Can
Aotearoa's THICC Skin
Mocktail Mock-Up Tasting Bar
Mock Ex
Mocktail Mock-Up Distillery Exterior
Mock Interior
Mocktail Mock-Up Distillery Interior
Station 05: Mixed Media
Mixed Render
Bank Enter
Station 02: The Bank of Pre's
Terminal Plan
Terminal Roof
Vibe 2
Presentation at Resene Student Design Awards 2019 - Photo by David St. George