Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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A Foray into Play: An Adventure in the Forest of Kāpiti Island

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posted on 2022-07-28, 02:53 authored by Proby-Cautley, Elise Mary

In New Zealand, there are numerous initiatives as to how we build in the landscape. On one hand, giant engineered infrastructures knit together a chaotic network of mountainous slopes for skiers. Meanwhile, constructions in forests assume a minimal impact on the natural environment. Kāpiti Island Nature Reserve has become a wilderness of untamed forest - the island is only navigated by pathways built by the Department of Conservation, to keep its nature as an art gallery, when it could be a playscape for adventure.

This thesis proposes a way that culture could rekindle a strong, playful relationship with the forest landscape. The process develops a system of structures that intimately understand the trees, the birds and the spirit of the land and proposes a playground, where visitors can play in our most revered natural landscape. The project uses analog media to understand the relationship between painting and architecture, as a way to formulate and discover an artistic language of play in the forest. From an initial use of acrylic, then to watercolour, introducing pencil and concluding with digital modeling, seven pavilions emerge to form the playground in the bush: arranging new opportunities for visitors to play with the forest on Kāpiti Island.


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Kebbell, Sam