Monsters In Architecture: A Quest for the Architectural Representation of South Asian Migration in Aotearoa

1676Px By 1116Px Elevation
Concept Building Elevation of the Arts Center for Sandrigham Road, Auckland.

Aotearoa has not always been the land of inclusivity that it represents today. The history of New Zealand's immigration policies and attitudes towards the South Asian community is a highly controversial chapter in Aotearoa's history. The narratives and presence of early South Asian immigrants have been trivialised and dismissed within local historical texts. This manipulation links to the existence of several problematic immigration policies, particularly New Zealand's 'White Policy' and the formation of the White New Zealand League. Such policies and actions have served as purposeful means of erasing the South Asian presence in Aotearoa's history.

Naomi Large 2460Px Image
Series of images exploring the journey of the South Asian migrant from India to Aotearoa, and the process of integration.

Here this thesis begins to challenge the deliberate disconnection made between migrants and place within Aotearoa's narrative of nation-building. Thus, my thesis questions: 

What could be the architectural representation of South Asian migration in Aotearoa? And what forms could this take?

This study formulated a historical narrative that establishes an intertwined understanding of people and place through the methodology of collage and crossing, as seen in architectural theorist Marco Frascari's concept of the 'Architectural Monster.' 

Frascari perceives the environment within which we exist as a monster - a hybrid assembled from several pieces, shaped by socio-political, cultural, and environmental contexts derived from cultural flows. 

The etymological origins and representation of the architectural monster demonstrate the cultural diversity that exists in our environment. It re-establishes relationships between architectures that were previously assumed separate, by viewing them as intertwined.

Naomi Vallis Ste Analysis Image 798Px
Conceptual site analysis of Sandrigham Road.
Naomi 2460 Px Section
Building section of the proposed Arts Centre on Sandringham Road, Auckland. Here architecture becomes a patchwork of migration and movement of people and cultures.
Naomi 2460Px Pencil Section Plan Elevation
Concept section, plan and elevation of the proposed design for the Arts Centre.
Naomi 2460Px Buildin Elevations
Woven building elevations and sections of the migrated interventions. A spice donation rack for Mount Roskill. A mini library for Albert Park, Auckland. A pergola and stepwell for Aotea Square, Auckland. A textile studio for Pukekohe. (From Left to Right)
Naomi 2460Px Interventions Pencil Section Plan Elevation New
Concept site plans of the migrated interventions. A pergola and stepwell for Aotea Square. A Spice Donation Rack for Mount Roskill, Auckland. A Textile Studio in Pukekohe. A mini library for Albert Park.(From Left to Right)
Naomi 2460Px Buildin Swite Plans
Collaged site plans of the migrated interventions. Spice rack for Mount Roskill. Library for Albert Park, Auckland. Pergola and stepwell for Aotea Square, Auckland. Arts Centre for Sandringham Road. Textile studio for Pukekohe. (From Left to Right)

This design project highlights the global circulation of architecture whereby the Indian bungalow, Mughal and Indo-Gothic styles migrated to New Zealand and transformed the nation's built environment. The architectural styles studied in this thesis aim to demonstrate how hybridism should lead the way in designing for the future.

This strategised design intends to formulate a representation that reflects the movement of architecture, people and cultures, in the form of an arts centre for Sandringham Road in Auckland. However, allowing these practices to migrate to other areas of the city, in the form of smaller interventions, is equally as important.

Naomi Vallis Models 2460 Px
Concept models of the migrated interventions. Concept pergola with flora. Concept stepwell. Concept form of the spice rack. Concept form of bathrooms for Sandringham Road. Concept Form for the Stepwell for Aotea Square. (Left to Right)