Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Field of Intimacy: Explorations of interiority within the landscape

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posted on 2021-11-14, 09:08 authored by Hall, Michelle

Interior Architecture cannot be bound by the confines of a building, it is not the catalyst of architectural intervention, in fact we can have interior experiences within the landscape. As a discipline Interior Architecture tends to be quite insular, struggling to connect to the exterior context of a design, whereas landscape architecture tends to be so involved with the context at the large scale, that the finer details and experiences of space can be lost. Generally, engineered systems tend to be internalized and designed without regard for the social. There is an interesting connection between landscape and interior architecture, with landscapes being able to generate their own sense of interiority. I have defined “existential intimacy” to describe the haptic bodily experience of a space through which one gains an understanding of something bigger than themselves (whether it be a system, process, or just being more aware and connected with their direct surroundings). This research explores what happens when notions of “existential intimacy” are applied within a landscape. Water is used as an important device for establishing existential intimacy enhancing the ability to engage with larger systems. By applying existential intimacy to the Wellington context of Mount Victoria and engaging with stormwater systems in the city, a field of intimacy is created connecting with water detention to allow more intensified experiential inhabitation of the green belt. Designing with a focus on existential intimacy, an expansiveness across scales is created, meaning that the design cannot lose context or detail, but is forced to engage with both, to create spaces which are both functional (in an engineered sense) and experiential.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Interior Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Interior Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Connolly, Peter; Allan, Penny