The Cross Roads of Heritage
This research explores an approach for adaptive reuse to enhance livability and greater connection to place within provincial towns of New Zealand. There are existing buildings which are often left in disrepair or considered too expensive to refurbish or strengthen. They are often demolished with little consideration to the building’s significance, therefore adaptive reuse has become a missed opportunity in New Zealand. Many of our provincial cities have uninhabited large-scale buildings, which need upgrading due to being outdated and no longer fit for purpose. Seismic upgrading is a key factor in why these buildings are left uninhabited. One of the urban areas which this is prevalent is Whanganui. Whanganui has the opportunity to blend the old and the new built form to create a revitalized and timeless street appearance. The regeneration of Whanganui can be achieved through adaptive reuse to enhance the crafted beauty of the town through its architecture. The revitalization of Whanganui can give guidance to other provincial cities in New Zealand while enhancing the quality of life within the town. An in-depth analysis of the history of Whanganui, will allow for heritage significance to play a major role in the redesign. This design will be developed at three different scales to demonstrate how the built form can enhance connection to place and livability. These scales are at an urban, a built and a detailed scale. The main cross roads linking the city of Whanganui to its river is surrounded by character and historical buildings. It will be used as a key area illustrating Whanganui’s past to better inform the future.