Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Natural Richness

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posted on 2023-09-30, 07:17 authored by Saffron Coppell

The deterioration of our natural environment, combined with an increase of high density housing in urban areas, has reduced atmospheric qualities within domestic architecture. Research has shown that an awareness and appreciation of natural landscapes is a key differentiator in creating delight within architectural space. This thesis explores the role of an appreciation of the aesthetics of nature in the design process, to enrich domestic dwellings within an urban context.

This thesis is approached through a research-through-design method which allows the process of design to undertake an iterative and cyclic approach. This is prefaced by a review of the literature, and supporting theories, to inform design responses, as well as case study analyses. This proposition led to an evolving design methodology that was developed through different design experiments, allowing for ideas to be tested at varying scale, in relation to the human body. This methodological strategy enabled design tests to be critically engaged with, and analysed, with the intent of informing the overall design. This thesis forms part of the conversation in architectural practice, of an increased awareness of atmosphere at the establishment of the design process, through an appreciation of aesthetics of nature, to create richness in urban, residential architecture.

In conclusion, this thesis argues that an appreciation of nature in the design process to prioritise the experiential qualities of the interior atmosphere, can enrich domestic dwellings within an urban context.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License


Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

4 Experimental research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Campays, Philippe