Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Reporting to Detention: Developing the architectural model of New Zealand's youth residences

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posted on 2022-07-28, 04:27 authored by Walsh, Chelsea

Conversations surrounding New Zealand’s young offenders have always been controversial, especially with re-offending rates on the rise according to the 2018 Ministry of Justice Youth Offenders Report (Ministry of Justice, 2018). This research portfolio challenges the way we approach built form of New Zealand’s youth residences by considering architecture as a device that can aid in the rehabilitation of youth in the justice system. With only four youth residences nationally, the current state of residences demonstrate school-like buildings trapped inside wired fences. This research seeks to investigate these current environments and their promotion of playground behaviours.

Reporting to Detention will critically evaluate the design influence of Mātauranga Māori through the local indigenous Māori culture and community at the research location of Pātea. Design methods which underpin this methodology will consist of design drivers such as the influence of colour and conceptual mapping on space to enhance a narrative that stimulates program. The use of colour in particular will be explored as a means to contribute to the therapeutic environment of both internal and external spaces, utilising natural materials, textures and colouration to create relationships to space. I am proposing a building designed not only for a functional purpose but to create purpose in the lives of New Zealand’s at-risk youth.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

950205 Visual Communication; 970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Kawiti, Derek