Shifting Grounds: Conceptions of the Homeland and the Journey to Emergence

Lucy Vete

Lucy Vete Header Image
Journey to Emergence

This thesis explores the convergence of the past and present; the physical and social worlds in a journey through the emergent possibilities of Tonga and its people. As a ‘home,’ ‘homeland,’ and ‘imaginary homeland,’ Tonga exists as a malleable construction of ideas, stories, traditions and history. The thesis draws from these numerous ‘conceptions’ and presents a projective imagining of how architecture can be used to stimulate progression and movement in the everyday social realm.

Lucy Vete Departure
Departure Jump Platform/Cross Sections, Plan and Long Section

The project imagines a trajectory of composed social spaces along the north western axis of Tupoulahi Rd, within the heart of Nuku’alofa. The four space exists sequentially as the Arrival Market, Land Bridge (Toa Tree), Art Center and Departure Platform. Binding across the ‘homeland’ from one body of water to another, the project responds to the expansive conception of Tonga; integrating expressions of cosmological stories and domains as a way to re-imagine social space and create an architecture of emergence. The act of journeying becomes an inherent and necessary process to the formation of the scheme, taking precedent from the dynamic history of exchange between islands in and outside Tonga’s archipelago. This active and constantly shifting network of islands mirror the emergence and dissipation of its people. As contemporary wayfinders, Tongan communities have grown and developed ‘oceans’ away in new lands and surroundings. 

Central to the core of the research of this thesis is the exploration of a Contemporary Tongan Condition which seeks to actively encompass these communities of growing diaspora. Architecture here, functions as a catalyst for the translation of these ideas and stories into spatial and material expressions. As a re-imagining and portrayal of social space, the project speculates into the nature of identity and perception on Tongan ground and asks, ‘How can the various conceptions of Tonga help to inform an architecture for and about Tongans?’

Lucy Vete Site Plan
Project Site Plan
Lucy Vete Faiva
Art Centre/Long Section
Lucy Vete Faiva Cross
Art Centre/Cross Section
Lucy Vete Arrival
Arrival Market Canal/Coss Sections, Plan and Long Section