The Heart of Rural New Zealand
New Zealand rural farming communities are the milieu of the agriculture sector. Despite New Zealand’s heavy economic reliance on agriculture, little is known about the architecture for cultivating community in the rural context. Overall, literature on rural communities reviewed for this thesis presented little direct information concerning community and architecture in the rural context. This study is an investigation of how architecture in the New Zealand rural context can cultivate a greater sense of community through the empirical research of existing rural communities. The sociological and architectural theories of community, as a generalised term in the literature, are analysed as determinants for community in the rural context of Northland, New Zealand through empirical research. The three theories of deprivation, density and development, as well as social interaction opportunities were externally applied to the sample Northland communities of Titoki, Maungatapere and Maungakaramea. Interviews with 18 community members as to their community perception authenticate the variation depicted in the external determinants. Empirical research into the theory of community acceptance analysed the vernacular for rural agricultural and rural community hall architecture. The findings from the empirical research informed the criteria for a case study design in Titoki. The resulting architectural application of these principles from the sociological and architectural theories is a uniquely agricultural rural community building to fulfil the Titoki agricultural community’s needs. This research applies commonly regarded sociological and architectural theories of community to the sample rural context to investigate what and how architecture can enable community. The findings from the sample suggest these theories are determinants for community cultivation in the rural context where architecture is a vehicle for building community. A socially healthy community prospers and is therefore more likely to be economically successful.