Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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If Walls Could Speak: Designing a satellite creative campus through a combination of adaptive reuse strategies and artistic manoeuvres generated from music video to enhance a repurposed building’s identity

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Version 2 2022-09-01, 23:37
posted on 2023-09-22, 02:15 authored by Taylor, Morgan

In many examples of adaptive reuse, the original identity of a work of architecture becomes lost or obscured when the new interior program is no longer represented by the meaning inherent in the exterior facades. This design research investigation explores how active incorporation of memory into an architectural design concept can enable a repurposed building to tell a meaningful story over time. Most contemporary architectural design relating to adaptive reuse does not take advantage of this important opportunity.  This thesis looks at a site that is currently home to NIWA, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research facility, at Greta Point, on Evans Bay outside of Wellington. This research site and the surrounding area have many layers of history and inherent narrative associated with it, making this a strong site for this adaptive reuse design research experiment.  This thesis argues that new architecture and old architecture in adaptive reuse projects can maintain strong meaningful identities while co-existing in harmony with one another and their new programmes. one principal goal of this investigation is to avoid facadism where an original facade becomes a meaningless mask for what is happening inside a repurposed building. This thesis investigates how this can be achieved by: analysing contemporary narrative, memory-based music videos to explore how the application of similar techniques might enable adaptive reuse projects to enhance a building’s identity; investigating how these design techniques can help provide meaningful identity to the architectural components while establishing relationships between old and new, inside and outside; enhancing the greater history and narrative of the site; and by adding meaning to the conflicting grids that may have arisen over time in relation to the wider history of the site.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

CC BY-ND 4.0

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


Brown, Daniel K.