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Whare Whakapapa

As a response to a second year studio brief exploring the values of Maori culture I developed the idea of Whare Whakapapa, my response focused on bringing maori values and customs to the forefront of New Zealands identity.

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Nga Aho practitioner:
Kahurangi Goulton

Whare Whakapapa

The sites specific brief, is set in the heart of Auckland city and explores the notions of museums.

Auckland as a city, is the door to a changing Multi cultural country and the window to the world that continuely seeks inspiration from our seemingly untouched history. I wanted to create a structure that would give Maori culture and values a significant part in playing the role of intiating people onto the land as, "iwi" or maori tribes would, "Powhiri" or welcome people onto their land, or "papa kaenga". I wanted to create a  embodiment of Powhiri.

Whare Whakapapa is a body made up of the four levels together forming the struture of the rib cage. Its open interior of the centre of each level gives the sense of unity between each level giving the combined levels the effect of one open space, a unified body. The open centre also allows for a delicate spinal structure to act as a means to move between levels, it also acts as a sculptural centre piece giving a sense of power and significants like the central pilar of a marae or wharenui as it links all the structural pilars to the centre of the roof. However the effect of floating frames upon one another, molded to give a sense of movement also contrast's with its intentional powerful concept and gives a more delicate and fragile notion. This underlying biological notion is one that has been used throughout many years of maori history as most maraes were shaped and structured with intentions of creating a physical body, a body inwhich the movement of people would give life.

The ground level is a circle interior with water flowing down the interior walls, a concept developed to act as a threshold between the city and the spiritual building. Water as a flowing element gives a sense cleansing and almost as a ritual to break from the lifeless, concrete, jungle and into a spiritual place that one would move through to contribute to the overall life of the body or structure.

This museum is a place to house carvings from marae that represent significant ancestors or stories to relevant tribes, carvings that would otherwise be left in the harsh conditions of the climate and would suffer the consequences of time. With this idea came much responsibilty to achieve the values and qualities of a traditional marae to respectfully house these important artifacts.

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