The Lost, Erased, Unseen and Forgotten: Translating into Architecture the New Zealand Wars
There is a perception amongst New Zealanders that our country was forged at Waitangi in 1840 with a shaking of hands and pressing together of noses. However, in actuality it emerged from a drawn out war of fear and unrest; four million acres of land was confiscated and thousands died fighting on it. Hills, valleys, fields and plains were soaked with blood from Wairau to Kororāreka . Today these sites still hold the memory of those fallen, but the New Zealand Wars and their implications now seem a distant haze on our nations consciousness. The wars have become lost, erased, unseen and forgotten. The New Zealand Army Museum in Waiouru is the building on which I focus a critique of our past and present approaches to architecture. Creating an extension to this museum forms the design component of my thesis – the new building housing the museum's overshadowed New Zealand Wars collection. The methodology involved researching and choosing specific stories from the full spectrum of the New Zealand Wars. Concepts, architectural languages and elements are then translated and collaged into a new building. The hope for this synthesis is that it will reveal our untold and unseen history through architecture, that it might represent and communicate something of our past to us; helping to [re?] construct our national identity.