Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Public Space Intimacy

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posted on 2022-07-28, 01:42 authored by Royfee, Alexander

Architects historically devote their analytical and critical attention to architecture as an object, as a monument, separate to its context. Consequently, this thesis explores how architecture can create intimacy in public space. This proposition is investigated through a design through research approach, where action and reflection focuses on creating design knowledge. In combination with an iterative design process, film was used as the primary method, to design for the body. This thesis follows a linear structure where the literary and physical context of the research precedes the design explorations. Three scales were used from the installation, house and public building, each increasing in complexity. The aim was to allow the smaller scale explorations to inform the larger scale work; to challenge the historical hierarchy between large and small scale spaces. In the process, the explorations developed an architectural language and series of qualities which can be used to create intimate public spaces. To conclude, public intimacy is achieved by designing from the inside out, scaling up and down to create a series of small scale spaces within a larger space, which give form to qualities of edge, depth and atmosphere, which afford a sense of intimacy.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Smitheram, Jan