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Highly commended: Norman Wei

Norman Wei, highly commended at the 2014 NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Awards.

Super-Pacific City: The Saga of Lomipeau by Norman Wei, University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning.

Lomipeau is a mythical, giant Tongan doublehulled canoe. Here, it is the inspiration for a building project – in a future in which environmental change has rendered life on some Pacific Islands untenable – in an autonomous district on New Zealand’s Rangitaiki Plain. The proposal envisages the application of a Pacific tectonic system to a new research-based city, and the evolution of that system through experimentation. New features, such as robotics, would be grafted on to the traditional Pacific way of building. 

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Drawing inspiration from the Tongan myth of the sea-faring Lomipeau, Norman Wei has proposed a big-boat, hydraulically powered solution to the Pacific problem of impending inundation. The horizons of this inventive, exuberant and well-illustrated scheme stretch well beyond the Islands to the shores of Asia. It’s an ingenious and very optimistic scenario.

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