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‘te Routu O Ureia’ – The Comb of The Taniwha

Part 1 Project 2003
Pahnia Skinner
Francesca Patterson
UNITEC Institute of Technology Auckland New Zealand
‘Te Routu o Ureia’ – The comb of the Taniwha

The architectural proposal is for a Museum to be situated at Curran Ave, beside Auckland Harbour Bridge in N.Z. The site is reclamation land which is prominent along the city’s shorelines. Research shows that there is a significant reef beneath the site. Maori legend tells of a visiting taniwha from Themes called Ureia who would come to the reef to scratch his back on it. This concept has influenced the formation of modules to represent skin residue left over from Ureia. The image is representative of Ureia with the Architectural drawings encompassed within from the influence of a carving of the Taniwha found in the wharenui of Hotonui, Auckland Museum

Pahnia Skinner
Francesca Patterson


This 4th year studio project was completed for an international ASCA student competition for a contemporary art gallery to be located beside a significant body of water. Timber was specified as the primary material.
The so-called neutral 'white box' container for art is completely overturned by this highly figured project. The mythical history of the site (a rocky reef almost submerged by a series of urban reclamation developments in Waitemata Harbour, Auckland ) is re-inscribed in the fabric of the gallery. The story of Ureia , the taniwha, subsumes all conventions of representation, all aspects are incorporated in the body of the beast. As Ureia lolls on the reef scratching his back, his skin cells become enmeshed in the fine needle-like po . The stripped and austere pod space of modernism is marked by the intricate inlay of precious timbers and paua to become a jewel box for contemporary life

2003
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