Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Spatial Commoning: Re-imagining Wellington's Central City Library & Civic Square

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posted on 2022-04-04, 21:18 authored by Kim, Rosemary

What if architecture could promulgate its resistance to urban inclinations of segregation, privatisation, and individualisation?

The neoliberal climate of contemporary cities has reduced architecture to a mere tool for capital accumulation. Architecture, consumed and produced as a form of capital, is facilitating the progression of inequality and environmental degradation, nullifying its humanitarian agenda.

In counter-reaction to the capitalistic conditions of the city, and the conviction that architecture can express social cognition, this thesis re-imagines, two essential community containers – Wellington Central Library and Civic Square as an urban common.

The primary intent of this thesis is to develop a speculative commons framework that architectonically articulates sharing and commoning practices in the context of Wellington City centre.

This research argues the pertinence of commoning theories in contemporary urban cities. It examines the genealogy and characteristics of the urban commons and how it could be spatially constructed.

It examines the historical significance of the existing building to inform the tectonic characteristics of the urban commons. It investigates the conceptual and formal devices of Post-Modernism to drive the spatial and representational aspects of the design process.

Moreover, it explores the evolving function and the societal role of libraries within the era of digitisation. It identifies an adaptable programmatic framework for the 21st-century library envisioned as a common.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Wood, Peter