'Individual Happiness Now'

Thursday 10 Feb 2011

This firm explores an Eastern way of thinking to provide a sense of belonging for people

If the purpose of Architecture is to create places for people, consider the Maori concept of ‘belonging'. This is communicated in a creation parable; the story of two entities, 'Earth Mother' and 'Sky Father' who were locked in a sensual embrace. The first people were the product of that coupling.

This notion of thinking about the world as a system of identities can liberate a harmonious thinking; that traditional Western distinctions between ‘natural' and ‘man made' environments do not exist.

In pre-western New Zealand, Architecture was literally generated from the people who inhabited it. Illustrated is an early New Zealand ‘Meeting House'; its post and beam structure is laid out anthropomorphically as the body of a founding ancestor supported by the family group, all carved to communicate the identities involved. The Meeting House is conceived of as a physical extension of the people whom it was for.

Thinking about Architecture as a system of identities is predicated by the assumption that if a building logically belongs in a place, to its time, with a people, then an individual can't help but feel a sense of belonging there too.

As examples; in addition to being sustainable, energy efficient and constructed largely from the surrounding ecology, a form has been made anthropomorphic and sensual to contain this harmonious thinking to connect golfer and landscape holistically.

And a bespoke house for a couple articulates a duality of meaning to combine two different personalities in the same architectural form. From Nest and Blind, Perch and Vantage, Concealment and Display, the design seeks to create harmony in a shared sense of place.

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