Space for Place
The consequence of homogenised place is becoming a growing concern across New Zealand’s built environment (Najafi, 2011). In a time where placelessness, sameness and architectural standardization threaten the concept of spatial identity, there is an opportunity to research further into how we can design to maintain cultural and spatial differentiation within New Zealand’s cities.
Wellington City is New Zealand’s capital, it is an old city with copious layers of topographic and environmental depth. With the harbour water and undulating terrain greatly contributing to the city’s identity, the somewhat disenfranchised population that occupy Wellingtons Streets are lacking this connection to place. This research is looking to defend the notion of a bounded place through reinterpreting our architectural identity. This research searches for continuity in the face of change, where takings from the environment’s past and present will come together to create one unified future identity.
This thesis investigates design opportunities within Wellington’s Civic square, design explorations and interventions seek to encourage and foster a rich sense of attachment to place. Architectural qualities are used as tools, with which to think through and create connections around which people actively create identities. The final design outcome aims to facilitate discussion of those qualities of public space that encourage and sustain concern for Wellington’s social identity and its contribution to a sense of place.