LAND312 (landscape architecture design integration) & LAND321 (landscape architecture construction)
School of Architecture-Victoria University of Wellington
A partnership between the School of Architecture-VUW and the local Maori tribe Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa was established to design sustainable and cultural sensitive solutions, following a collaborative and interdisciplinary participatory approach. As a collective culture, Maori acknowledge the natural order of the universe where living and non-living things are connected through a long genealogy of creation myths and ancestral lineage. This project looks at the neglected Hurunui-o-Rangi marae, a communal place for the tribe, located in the Greater Wellington Region of Wairarapa, which is known for its abundance of land, water and soil fertility. The process of conceiving and developing the design proposal embraced the community in participatory techniques of understanding the place, relationship-building, respectful facilitation and empowered participation. The proposed design of Hurunui-o-Rangi marae includes a wide range of spaces that incorporate education through recreation, cultural awareness through traditional practices and implementation of sustainable solutions. The new exterior spaces comprise: the marae atea (big meeting house), hangi hill (traditional cooking), flax field, vegetable garden and orchard, papakāinga (social housing) field market and the whai playground.
The goals of the design are:
• create contemporary spaces that are multifunctional and related to the buildings.
• enhance people’s experiences of outdoor spaces grounded in Maori traditional values and practices;
• establish community-driven spaces that are intergenerational in nature bringing everyone together, and;
• create learning opportunities that educate the local community about Maori traditions.
The proposed spaces are currently being implemented by the community as part of the redevelopment of the marae.