Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Celebrating Difference: Architectural Conflation within an Urban Fabric

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posted on 2021-11-11, 23:35 authored by Anderson, Casey

Celebrating Difference questions New Zealand’s current civic architecture, and the way we will design these environments in the future. This thesis explores various cultural literary precedents supported by two detailed case studies and a civic scale architectural design project. Firstly, this thesis explores a global stance on multi-culture and difference and investigates a contemporary breakdown of difference, culture and multiculturalism. The reader is then taken through a journey of New Zealand’s civic history, with an emphasis on cultural and social climates, and their acknowledgement or celebration through architectural discourse. Multicultural Australia, Bernard Tschumi’s metaphorical consumption and a literal exploration of food’s contribution in the civic arena are all literary examples examined within the research with an emphasis on re-direction and possibly unseen correlations within civic scale design. These examinations are to question an international field of cultural architectural discourse and identify events and forms that contribute to cultural celebration. The two case studies examined are Federation Square, Melbourne city and Wellington’s CBD, in New Zealand. These studies highlight each space’s exhibition of cultural celebration and aid in defining key characteristics that encourage cultural celebration through architecture. The hypothesis aligns the study’s key findings with the design project, Architectural Conflation within an Urban Fabric. This correlative piece identifies human similarity as a critical point of understanding in the equation of difference. When similarity is acknowledged, a closeness is formed allowing a greater understanding of human difference to be achieved – doesn’t make good sense. A re-discovery of Raw Foods, Landscape and Materiality are determined as key architectural attributes that aid in creating environments that celebrate difference through architectural discourse.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


de Sylva, Shenuka