One of the similarities between Thai and Māori cultures is their respect for their rivers. A river is a body of water signifying the origin of life in both cultures, playing an important role in the early settlement of Māori and Thais who live as part of the river.
Waihorotiu was once a freshwater stream which provided a clean water source for drinking and bathing to early Māori settlements. Being fed by a collection of small tributaries, the stream flowed seawards down the west side of what we know today as Queen Street. It has since been transformed from an open drain, becoming covered over and buried underground by the urbanisation of the area.
This thesis proposes a series of cross-cultural spaces located along Queen Street, derived from the study of river lifestyles, enduring architecture, and public markets, and interpreting them in different ways; in essence recovering and reconnecting Auckland people with their forgotten Waihorotiu stream.
The proposed cross-cultural space is based on the author’s interest in the exchanging of ideas across cultures, in particular those of Māori and Thai. It is a place where people can share their own cultures, not only between Māori and Thai, but also among other cultural groups in the Auckland City isthmus. The project provides an opportunity to improve the existing urban environment, by introducing a new style of living to the city, while directly engaging its citizens with their natural heritages.