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New Zealand Institute of Architects









Nick Denton, finalist

Nick Denton

Photo by Simon Wilson


Nick Denton, from the Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Architecture and Design, is a finalist with his project, ‘A Place to Navigate With/In’.

Project description

Nick Denton’s interests in architecture and science coalesced in this proposal for a series of seven astronomical observatories sited on a latitude line running through Wellington. Although they may point to the stars, these structures also signify more earthly concerns. They are intended to prompt awareness of the city’s cultural landscape, and the negotiations that occur as different peoples navigate their way through a common ground.


This thorough-going project is a brave and ambitious attempt to reconcile astronomy and architecture, and settler and indigenous understandings of Wellington’s landscape. The work reveals admirable curiosity and a determination to press beyond the obvious. Celestial, topographical and cultural mappings overlap in an extensive investigation of site that has resulted in a stimulating re-reading of familiar ground.

Other finalists