Mōhio ki te Whenua/ Understanding the Land

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Peretū's Pavilion

Is architecture able to facilitate the coexistence between cultural and ecological conservation on conservation island estates in the Hauraki Gulf?

New Zealand is known for its strong conservation ethic, and a clear desire to both protect and restore nature in Aotearoa. The country's scenery and native wildlife are admired both nationally and around the world. Yet despite the nation's prominent natural heritage, there is a prevalent attitude that New Zealand lacks a significant cultural heritage. Despite a recent upsurge in the acknowledgement of and engagement with New Zealand's cultural history, it remains overlooked in the presence of ecological conservation.

The New Zealand conservation ethic is ingrained in the way we promote and discuss our country. However by merely prioritising the observation of the landscape, the more profound cultural and ecological significance embedded into the landscape remains unrecognised. As a result, many cultural and historical narratives are discounted.

The thesis research of Mōhio ki te Whenua explores the tension between ecological and cultural heritage within the conservation estate of Rangitoto Island.

'Mōhio ki te Whenua' recognises the inherent connection that Māori have with the land through an architecture that celebrates Kaitiakitanga – the guardianship, protection, and conservation of the land. This core Māori value reflects a belief of the intrinsic connection shared between humanity and the natural world. Furthermore, the research navigates the different types of heritage present on Rangitoto Island and advocates for the importance of sharing the intrinsic narratives embedded into the historic fabric of the landscape in order to conserve their significance for future generations. By exploring this cultural value, we can begin to hypothesise the coexistence between cultural and ecological conservation.

This thesis proposes a series of architectural designs to be constructed along the existing walking trails of Rangitoto Island. The architectural interventions will aim to incorporate Kaitiakitanga values and infuse the geological, ecological, and human history of the land, creating spaces that allow local and international visitors to interact, connect and understand the environment in a way that acknowledges the importance of both ecological and cultural conservation.

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Initial Sketch: Peretū's Pavilion
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Architectural Design 1: Rangitoto Wharf Welcome Pavilion
Welcome Pavilion Walkway Through 01
Architectural Design 1: Welcome Pavilion Interior Walkway
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Architectural Design 2: Peretū's Pavilion
Gardiners Gap Bridge Looking To Rangi Side By Side Large
Architectural Design 3: Gardiners Gap Bridge. Facing Rangitoto
Gardiners Gap Bridge Facing Motutapu Side By Sdie Small
Architectural Design 3: Gardiners Gap Bridge. Facing Motutapu
Look Out Render View 1 Full Page Image
Architectural Design 4: Yankee Wharf Lookout
Yankee Wharf Conservation Classroom Overview I Side By Side Large
Architectural Design 5: Yankee Wharf Conservation Education and Research Centre
Yankee Wharf Conservation Classroom Aviary Side By Side Small
Architectural Design 5: Yankee Wharf Conservation Centre Aviary