Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Groundcover: Investigating an ecological field-architecture

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posted on 2021-11-14, 11:01 authored by Velvin, Henry

With many traditional conservation approaches becoming outdated and inefficient this project looks at the role of architecture in facilitating forward thinking, system based conservation aimed at high levels of self-organization. Through the consolidation of architecture, with concerns relating to ecological conservation, landscape ecology and landscape architecture new approaches to the development of New Zealand’s conservation estate are explored. Adopting the backcountry (DoC) hut as an anti-precident, the existing apathetic approach to the development and care of New Zealand’s conservation estate is critiqued through design research. This thesis looks at the possibility of integrating a system of structures into the landscape at Nga Potiki reserve (South Wairarapa, New Zealand) which, through both their architecture, and programme, actively advance the restoration and invigoration of the site’s ecologies. With the aim of expanding public ecological literacy the structures provide habitation, and importantly, the opportunity for visitors to engage with and understand the significance of the forces that drive natural ecologies. In doing so it aims to investigate the possibility of assimilating ecological conservation into architectural built form.


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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

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Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

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


Twose, Simon; Perkins, Natasha