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Transcendent Site: The Resurrection of Denniston

Part 2 Project 2012
Roger Wilson
Victoria University of Wellington Wellington New Zealand
Transcendent Site: The resurrection of Denniston, investigates how the proposed ‘Escarpment Mine Project’ could commemorate the history of the Denniston Plateau while at the same time, moving into the 21st century. The isolated ghost town, Denniston of New Zealand, is used as a means for building upon historic innovation, creating new opportunities for architecture.

The resurrected township is based upon three design themes: resisting Dystopia, a call for eccentric creation, and repurposing the past. Each theme emerged as a response to macro and micro site analysis. The project investigates the fate of our cities in the future, and questions the role of architectural design in this setting. Inspired by Ecotopias, the new township is completely self-sufficient, and sustainable economic opportunities are created in anticipation of the inevitable decline of the ‘Escarpment Mine’.

The project pushes the boundaries, constraints and perceptions of architectural fantasy. The resurrected township goes beyond accepted building norms, establishing itself as a township rich in identity and imaginative spirit.

The proposal repurposes the past to create an evolutionary architecture specific to Denniston. The new township adds another layer of history to the currently stalled site condition. The development enables future generations to experience the history of site through its architectural evolution. The Denniston township is a positive contribution to New Zealand. The new township mediates with the past towards future ideals, manifesting itself in imaginative, unconventional architecture.

Roger Wilson


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