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New Zealand Institute of Architects









Finalist: Regan Harrison

Regan Harrison from Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka Unitec School of Architecture is a finalist for project 'Perceiving Rangipuke'.

Project description

This project is inspired by the rich history of Rangipuke, Albert Park, in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. However, many of its historical and cultural layers have not received the remembrance they deserve. Unpacking the site’s layers raised questions of how to approach decolonisation. 

The idea of this project is to use a sensory approach to bring these layers of history closer to all visitors to the park, be they locals, tourists, or school groups. The project’s design suggests a series of small architectural interventions, each of them dedicated to one specific layer of history and evoking a particular set of senses.

The design seeks to honour and acknowledge the site's significant heritage in a gesture of respecting all of the project’s many cultural layers, enabling the past to thrive by empowering its entry into the present. However, the project does not aim to dictate the park’s overall development since there would be many different approaches. Instead, it seeks to educate users and enhance the space, showcasing Aotearoa’s identity through the directness of our senses. Thus, these structures serve as a means of storytelling, evoking emotions and providing a multi-sensory experience to establish an authentic sense of belonging and identity.

Jury citation

Atmosphere is beautifully evident in the drawings and has been made special here.

In recognising many layers of history, future potentials are being established. The way in which these layers have been referred to is very clever. There is sensitivity and generosity to the idea of one pavilion for one sensory experience – this is delightful in its own right. Celebrating sensory moments binds you to a place.

The importance of the ridge in Māori architecture has been achieved by its absence and becomes a strong element. There is a lot of joy in placemaking and there are promising moments in this project designed for a public space.

The question of what it is that makes architecture special has been asked and thoughtfully answered.