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Arcadia, The Museum Of Nature

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posted on 06.12.2021, 23:04 by Cleland, Hamish

The loss of indigenous ancient forests has had a great impact to New Zealand habitats. Native birds, insects, fungi, plants and animals have been diminishing in diversity since human occupation. This is to a degree the result of intensive resource consumption and demand. Forestry, agriculture, mineral and gas resources were seen as more valuable than the ecosystems that existed before them. Our landscapes themselves became secondary.  The particular infrastructure of open cast mining was chosen for this research. Mining represents a way to design active reclamation, while the mine site is still operating. Because of this, time becomes an integral component to the design process.  The site is situated at Macraes flat, Otago. Ten kilometres of open cast mine, in operation since 1990. Open cast mining has produced great income. However, The cost of mining extends beyond an eyesore, it diminishes the quality of the land for any future use.   Arcadia, the Museum of Nature is a vision of a place for preservation and for pride in ancestral property. A true “Arcadia” — a land of natural wonder. This is a museum of New Zealand’s key indigenous species. One designed through myth woven narratives, inspired by existing authors and generated through narrative experiments. To inspire, educate and showcase our unique ecologies, and endangered environments for future generations.   Arcadia becomes a place to witness the succession of the natural world. A continuous time scale allows for a regenerative solution over years to centuries. Thereby showing the ability and resilience of nature in taking back from man’s intrusive tendencies. Rectifying the grotesque interruption of one of nature’s greatest tools, that of time. All the while harbouring our rare and unique wildlife.   The museum of nature replaces the current system of remediation, and provides a more provocative solution to the end of modern day infrastructure.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Landscape Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

University Library

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Marques, Bruno; Martinez-Almoyna, Carles