The city is built upon layers of history and is in a state of constant change and evolution. This thesis questions how can we intervene with the pre-existing and seemingly ordinary layers of the urban fabric? This design-led research begins with observations of the pre-existing context, a site located between busy Riddiford Street and quiet Gordon Place in Newtown, Wellington. The investigation iteratively evolves through analogue and digital modes, utilising a creative-based research methodology. The design outcome aims to preserve elements from the pre- existing architecture while proposing new interventions to create connections and open dialogues between the two streets through the visual opening of a pathway.
This thesis engages with a phenomenal understanding of architecture and uses this to propose a human-centred experience for a community gallery and studio space in the pre-existing building onsite. This thesis attempts to offer one solution that adaptively reuses a pre-existing architecture, attempting to balance the need for evolving spaces while acknowledging the character and memory intertwined with the layers of built form. This approach employs design to be resourceful, respecting the pre-existing layers of the city while offering a new evolution of this space.