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Finalist – William Howse

William Howse.

Photo by David St George

William Howse, from the Unitec Department of Architecture', was a finalist at the 2017 NZIA Central Innovation Student Design Awards for his project 'Functional Heritage'.

Project description

A response to the Dunedin Lightrail Heritage Trust’s proposal to reconstruct the Mornington Cable-Car Line, this project investigates ways of adapting the original cable-car depot into a modern transport hub – a rare example of a building being re-adapted, after many years of alternative uses, for the purpose for which it was originally conceived. Taking cues from global heritage precedents, the study strips back the accretions of years past to reveal layers of historical construction, and proposes additional architectural interventions, including alternative representation and new functions, to reconnect the building to the “iron web”.


William’s research and study draws attention to an important issue facing cities almost everywhere: how to handle buildings that are not heritage-listed yet are treasured and valuable elements of a city. William’s personal commitment to this project, deep thinking around the ways heritage can activate communities, and systematic approach to uncovering context is inspirational.

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