Reconstructing Remnants: Encountering Auckland’s Lost Materiality.

Michaella Franklin

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+64 211 553 840
Intro Image
Material Transpositions / Documenting Material Fragments

The urban fabric is a bricolage of materials, engaged in a perpetual cycle of renewal through the construction and deconstruction of buildings. As architecture attempts to transcend time, there is a growing need for an emotional connection between people, nature and the built environment in order to mitigate the disconnection of architecture from its cultural context.

Auckland’s continuously changing urban environment has led to the demolition of many culturally significant buildings. The current state of architecture is often reduced to representing a commercialised commodity where flatness, transparency and speed neglect embodied encounters, history and weathering processes.

Drawing upon notions of time and the socio-ethical responsibilities of architecture, this thesis engages with the temporal aspects of architecture through materiality, trace, memory and the palimpsestic value of time.

Drawing upon temporal maturity, ephemerality, and the socio-ethical responsibilities of architecture, this thesis engages with the temporal aspects of architecture through materiality, memory and the palimpsestic value of tracing.

By questioning preservation and reuse within architectural discourse, this thesis provides a framework to extend the life-cycle of selected materials once buildings have been consented for demolition. It begins with the proposal of a charitable trust (the Auckland Preservation Trust) and the recovery of tactile material fragments. Materials are interpreted as the manifestation of temporary ‘recollection pavilions’ on Albert Park Bowen Avenue extension.

Recollection Pavilions shuttle between remembering and forgetting over a three-year life span, exploring the tensions between revealing/concealing, light/shadow, surface/depth. They emphasise the ephemeral effects of time and are receptive to weathering through the intricacies of light, shadow and water. Residues are left to weather post deconstruction: sediment layers accumulate over time to be incorporated in future pavilions.

Concerned with how lost buildings are transformed into recollection spaces, this thesis reinterprets notions of the museological: allowing people to observe, speculate, probe, question and reflect upon their city’s texture. With a focus on material weathering and trace, this thesis emphasises the importance of haptic encounters and sensuous materiality within Auckland. 

Text With Media 1
Extending the Material Life Cycle / Architectural Proposition
Site Map 2
Site Plan
Material Tabs
Recovered Material Fragments
Banner 1 1
Recollection Pavilion I / Start 2023 - End 2026
Banner 2 1
Recollection Pavilion II / Start 2024 - End 2027
Banner 3 1
Recollection Pavilion III / Start 2025 - End 2028