Metabolism Re-Birth: Recontextualised Metabolist Housing in Wynyard Quarter

Grand Master-Plan

This thesis proposes a recontextualised, Metabolist architectural approach to the design of urban Auckland. Under a postulated economic scenario that differs from that which we currently recognise, the thesis presents four Metabolist-inspired building types, each on separate sites in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter.

Each proposal responds to both its location and an anticipated upheaval in our current stable socio-economic condition as a result of, for example, a housing market collapse or the effects of climate change. This thesis presents a housing scheme across Wynyard Quarter in response to these impending 21st-century issues.

Critique Collages on Sites

The Metabolist movement emerged from post-war Tokyo and aimed to tackle crises posed by modernisation. The Metabolist group proposed projects responding to rapid urbanisation, traffic congestion, and housing shortages that prevailed during the 1960s.

Auckland has seen a growing housing shortage over the past decade. Other challenges include population growth, liveability, and effects of climate change. These are all issues upon which the government has been slow to act.

Pursuing a Metabolist approach to design is an attempt to respond to these challenges through a relevant and ideologicalarchitectural precedent which may warrant a critical re-evaluation. Wynyard Quarter is a location that is changing in response to current market conditions. This reclaimed land, once fully port-owned and industrial, is now shifting towards low-rise medium density residential and mixed-use occupancy.

The current proposed vision for Wynyard Quarter aims to reinvigorate the waterfront through the development of streetscapes, commercial and residential planning. This shift has resulted in an almost exclusive or bourgeois living situation.

By approaching the domesticity of Wynyard Quarter through a Metabolist lens, this scheme imagines alternative potentials of the site being drawn out through a more socially-focused architectural housing and infrastructure programme.

This speculative urban scheme of four housing typologies is situated on four locations scattered across the Wynyard Quarter. The journey begins by building over and along Fanshawe Street, adjacent to Victoria Park, then upon what is currently the New Zealand bus park on Gaunt Street, just a street away. This is followed by the Jellicoe Street car park and the body of water by the Sealink Wynyard Wharf Ferry Terminal.

These housing interventions consider the growth and adaptability which are rooted in Metabolist ideologies, but also seek the sustainability and interchangeability which the original practice of Metabolist architecture could not achieve in built form during its prime.

Four Moments at the Interventions
Assemblage of Interventions
'Road Cones' Cycle Hub
'Wrecking Yard' Bus Station
'Silo Park' Tram Station
'Oil Drums' Ferry Terminal