Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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0 to 90: Designing private and public space for growing old and growing up

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posted on 2022-07-28, 01:17 authored by Contessa, Julia

In New Zealand the mortality age is rising and the fertility rate is dropping. This is creating a generational disconnect, resulting in a lack of social connection between the young and old, leaving the elderly with little physical support. Inevitably many seniors are left with little option but to leave their homes and enter a retirement village or care facility. Through this body of research and creative work I question how residential and public architecture can prompt cross generational exchange to allow people to age in place contentedly. In order to understand how architecture may achieve this, the research is divided into three sections. The first establishes accurate conditions of context and program through a process of preparatory analysis, resulting in several design objectives. The analysis defines a site in Picton, a town that presently connects land transport between the north and south islands of New Zealand. Its location and function provide the research with a unique opportunity to create a cross program consisting of a residential space within a public place.

The second defines an engaging atmospheric response through physical drawing and making explorations. Through this process, architectural preconception of what is inside and outside is reversed in order to fragment the existing notion of aging.

The third section reconfigures all previous findings into a developed design on site. Residential, communal and public spaces begin to blur and overlap, challenging existing stereotypes of generation segregation.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Moleta, Tane