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Doors and Chords: Explorations from Music to Architecture

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posted on 23.11.2021, 01:28 by Platt, Harrison

Architecture and music have a long intertwining history.These respective creative forces many times have collaborated into monumental place, harboured rich occasion, been catalyst for cultural movement and defined generations. Together they transcend their respective identities. From dinky local church to monstrous national stadia, together they are an intense concentration, a powerfully addictive dosage where architecture is the place, music is the faith, and people are the reason.  Music is a programme that architecture often celebrates in poetic and grand fashion; a superficial excuse to symbolise their creative parallels. But their relationship is much richer and holds more value than just the opportunity to attempt architectural metaphor.While music will always overshadow the architecture in the sense of a singular event, architecture is like the soundman behind the mixing desk. It’s not the star front and centre grabbing your attention, but is responsible for framing the star. It is the foundational backdrop, a critical pillar. Great architecture can help make great music. In this sense music is a communication of architecture, it is the ultimate creative function.  Christchurch, New Zealand, is a city whose story changed in an instant. The seismic events of 2010 and 2011 have become the overriding subject of its historical narrative, as it will be for years to come. Disaster redefines place (the town of Napier, struck by an earthquake in 1931, exemplifies this). There is no quantifiable justification for an exploration of architecture and music within the context of Christchurch. The Town Hall, one of New Zealand’s most architecturally significant buildings, is under repair. The Christ Church Cathedral will more than likely be rebuilt to some degree of its former self. But these are echoes of the city that Christchurch was.They are saved because they are artefact. Evidence of history.This thesis makes the argument for the new, the better than before, and for the making of opportunity from disaster, by proposing a ‘new’ town hall, conceived from the sound of old.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Wood, Peter