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Finalist – Andrew Frankum

Andrew Frankum.

Photo by David St George

Andrew Frankum, from Unitec Architecture Department, was a finalist in the 2017 NZIA Central Innovation Student Design Awards with his project ‘Motu Kōkako ’.

Project description:

This response to the Motu Kōkako Ahu Whenua Trust’s desire for a small structure to enable whanau members or biodiversity researchers to undertake short stays on the cherished ‘hole in the rock’ island forgoes the status quo of excavations and piling in favour of non-invasive surface connections. Through a detailed digital survey of the island’s contours and foliage revealed an ideal site was identified. Using fabrication workflows, a building module was developed that fits the selected site like a glove.


Andrew’s scheme for a small pod-like structure on an ecologically fragile island site was inventive and sensitive, and informed by deep analysis of the site and painstaking research into fabrication and material selection. The project married modern drone technology and good old-fashioned legwork. The experimentation and dedication that went into developing an appropriate methodology for non-interventionist architecture was most impressive.

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