Share article


We notice you're trying to make a purchase from outside of New Zealand.
If you would like to place an order, please email full details to

Thank you,

New Zealand Institute of Architects









Finalist: Jamie Logie

Jamie Logie from Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka Unitec School of Architecture is a finalist for project 'Rescripting Placeless Urbanisation in the foothills of Waitākere'.

Project description

‘Fringe House’– a wellness complex located at the heart of Titirangi – ‘the Fringe of Heaven’.

The latest commercial development in Titirangi – the gateway village at the foothills of the Waitākere Ranges – seems incongruous with its forestscape. This new building’s scale, materiality and mass emerge as something alien and detrimental to the village’s culture and cherished urban imagination.

This project stems from the suspicion that feelings of dis-belonging and identity loss coincide with alien architecture and globalisation. Indeed, the necessity for construction coincides with Aotearoa’s population growth – this work does not resist this demand. However, it does aspire to dismantle preconceptions of sprawl, instead suggesting that it can manifest without withering people’s tacit understanding of their homescape. As the Waitākere Ranges are the geographic spine of Tāmaki Makaurau, the landscape’s value manifests in the sentiment people share with its wilderness – forged through years of ancestral lineage. This project, therefore, offers an imaginative rescripting of a commercial building: what if this structure was designed through a place-privileging lens?

The rescripted building consolidates a therapeutic complex – ‘Fringe House’. The titular ‘Fringe’ is positioned firstly through Titirangi’s translation – ‘Fringe of Heaven’ – and secondly through its peripheral occupation at the city’s edge. The complex is triadic: ‘The Terrace’ – a meeting place and kitchen; ‘The Cabins’ – therapy spaces; and lastly, ‘The Makerspace’. These typologies leverage Titirangi's natural landscape, bohemian community and art culture, set to amplify emotional wellness and signalling the architecture’s kinship to place. Design motives arise from local architecture that fosters sincere reconciliation with its landscape. Accordingly, the structure is set back to foreground Indigenous bush, stormwater systems embrace Titirangi’s rainfall, and transparency maximises views and blurs a sense of inside-ness/outside-ness.

The respective attentiveness is relevant to the included Place Assessment – a self-produced, rigorous documentation outlining regional narratives woven into the Waitākere foothills. The work offers the architectural field a context-based methodology, informing how one might encounter, survey and respond to a landscape.

Jury citation

The challenge here is to place a building with a great deal of sensitivity into a difficult site. Taking that challenge on is admirable.

The project rejects a recently installed building and the sense of violence that results from its insertion into a beloved space. When you belong to a place you act very differently because you care about it. The building being addressed lands on top of the site, which signifies ownership. You have drilled down into what’s specific about this site and demonstrated a sensitive eye with light curation, view framing and privileging people in the site.

Privacy and connectedness in the approach to wellness shows another layer of sensitivity. Transparency in the design and its levels preserves views. References to biophilic design and the native bush, its dampness and aroma, bring you into the site through sensory experiences.

You can see the moves of an architect who respects authenticity in the relationship of people and place, all of which points to a fabulous future in the industry.