A New Waiwera Topography

Yolanda Taslim

Yolanda Modos Copy
Waiwera Thermal Resort Reimagined

Defined by an expansive coastline, New Zealand's Northland is rich with marine environments and spectacular scenic landscapes that have drawn in countless people for many generations. Both locals and tourists are attracted to these picturesque beaches and associated coastal townships as a nature escape away from the metropolitan lifestyle. Water-based activities have long piqued people's curiosity recreationally, and in contemporary times bathing has become a trend in health and wellness tourism.

Yolanda Modos 4
Entry via Community Gardens

The purpose of this thesis is to suggest and clarify viable directions for the future of sustainable coastal landscape design and architecture. Thus, it ambitiously invokes both tradition and invention through methods such as adaptive reuse to bring forth a renewal of landscape and attitudes towards it. This objective contains an underlying belief that landscape has the capacity to engage society both physically and metaphysically as an active instrument in shaping modern New Zealand coastal culture. Insight of the topic and design is made through the investigations of the selected East Coast township of Waiwera with its long history in water recreation, particularly its abandoned thermal resort.

Modos 5
Pools of Fragrance and Flora

This thesis also aims to investigate the potential of New Zealand Coastal environments as a therapeutic landscape in a contemporary context and propose design strategies that reflect these findings. Therapeutic landscapes have been described as places that have achieved lasting reputations for providing physical, mental and spiritual healing. Landscape, in this case, becomes considered as an explicit thematic genre, as it is when set in the foreground in cultural imagery, art and literature.

Yolanda Modos 2
Pools of Heating
Yolanda Modos 3
Pools of Rain and Reflection

Theories of Phenomenology and Atmospheres are utilised in a transformative sense to form a subtle unimposing architecture that deeply connects with the user and environment. To complement this, the desired architecture uses landscape as more than just decoration under the base of buildings, but assumes a deeper role of contextualisation, heightening experiences and embedding time and nature in the built world. 

Modos 6
Pools of Contemplative Silence