Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (81.93 MB)

Atmosphere within the Artificial

Download (81.93 MB)
posted on 2021-11-23, 21:20 authored by Ahern, George

The Olympic Games are celebrated around the world; however, each Games puts pressure on the host city and its infrastructure as well as the people that reside there, which was evident for the latest host country Brazil. This is a global and political topic and my design aims to provide a solution to the unsustainable construction of sporting infrastructure every four years. This thesis will investigate atmosphere through the design of an artificial Olympic island and the resulting architecture resolved within this artificial environment. The proposition that structures this thesis is how to amplify atmosphere within an artificial environment. The proposition of this research was resolved through materiality, light and threshold in order to amplify the atmospheric qualities of the architecture. This was explored through three scales; a design investigation, a domestic scale, and a public scale, using a ‘design as research’ methodology allocated to the research stream. The result of this research came through the development of a boat club for the Olympic Island, showing the rowing and canoe events at the Games. The architecture was resolved through the composition of atmospheric techniques from Zumthor and the formal strategies of Eisenman. The material qualities, juxtaposed with the formal structures generated thresholds through the change in material and lighting qualities. To conclude, it was found that amplifying atmosphere was achieved through a generative process based on the composition of design techniques.


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)

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


Smitheram, Jan