Agglomeration and Bricolage Towards Regeneration
This thesis explores a local approach to town regeneration. It is a reaction to the “zombie town” urban phenomenon affecting New Zealand North Island towns, evidenced by ageing populations, declining rates base and diminishing civic institutions. It proposes an architectural framework to re-identify these towns, adapting the urban planning method agglomeration and the design technique bricolage.
The framework requires managed retreat of local infrastructure, re-consolidating recipient sites with resources from donor sites, a new process termed the Donor Recipient Exchange. The detailed integration of donated materials to recipient sites is resolved using bricolage to craft construction methodology.
The framework is tested through an architectural case study based in Edgecumbe, Bay of Plenty. A trade school and supporting facilities attract a young population to the town and equip locals to assist in the revival of the civic facilities.
The architectural experiment reveals the importance of an organic catalyst to shape managed retreat. It introduces a weighted approach to construction staging and depicts curated integration of repurposed materials resulting in a discerned formal identity.