A museum of the West
View fulltext online
Citation:Jenkin, E. (2019). A museum of the West. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4838
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4838
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can the natural history significant to the Waitākere Ranges be best articulated through a Source-Community approach to architecture? ABSTRACT: The Waitākere Ranges, just west of Auckland City, are identified as one of the most important ecosystems in New Zealand. However, only a fraction of the population is aware of the thousands of indigenous species of flora and fauna that have lived there for thousands of years, and continue to contribute to the scientific study and documentation of the country’s vital ecological system. These species, some found nowhere else in New Zealand nor the world, now reside largely in civic institutions such as Auckland Museum and New Zealand’s national museum Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. These museums are subject to providing the public with a considerably inauthentic interpretation of where these important species originated, their habitats and their indigenous ecosystems. This is concerning, as not only are visitors educated on a materialised version of the truth; the species themselves are stripped of their own mauri, or life force, with the essence of their habitat lost. This research project aims to find an alternative to the detached civic museum experience. This is achieved through an in-depth understanding of a Source Community strategy, repatriation of specimens, culturally appropriate curation methods, as well as a thorough analysis of site and program. The investigation concludes the design of a regional Natural History Museum in the Waitākere Ranges, for the Waitākere Ranges. This museum shall offer a glimpse into the rich and often overlooked layer of this country, providing the visitor with an immersive, authentic learning experience. Visitors shall be able to move through, see, and feel the environment in ways which would otherwise not be achievable.