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Extraction Lands & the Permanence of Production

Part 2 Project 2014
Nathan Swaney
University of Auckland Auckland New Zealand
This project seeks to establish an architectural response to a landscape susceptible to redundancy through extractive process. Here, the architectures of industrial means are the primary agents in the erosion of the very terrain they dredge from. This begs the question - how might architecture be deployed in future to navigate these new industrial territories, so as to limit their reliance on the lands they inhabit?

Sited in the South Pacific, New Zealand’s burgeoning town of New Plymouth is examined as both a spatial and temporal terrain on which architecture may be developed. This small, globally isolated town is placed delicately against a small, rural population and is placed on the cusp of redundancy if new mineral reserves are not located within the next decade. Faced with rapid exploration or redundancy, the project seeks to pursue architecture for industry that is inclusive of both landscape and community.

A Shipyard and Seafarer’s Centre located on Moturoa Wharf, the project is split into two parts, each dealing with vastly differing programmatic scales. The programme of the Shipyard offers a facility that provides a recycling facility - through restoration repairs or dismantling, material is now passed through the building to be recycled into the greater New Plymouth district. Housed within the same volume, the Seafarer and visitor spaces become a place where the local population can come to witness the process of the port unfolding day by day. As each stage of the dismantling process is unveiled, the visitor can trace the magnitude of the operation out into the wider Tasman Sea.

This new facility is designed to be comprised of the very materials and components that pass through the shipyard, linking the building to its context and origin. In considering space as an agglomeration of parts components and spaces, the entire facility is now capable of being passed back through the system itself - provided it is no longer needed. Feeding the elements of the Visitor’s Centre back through the shipyard and recycling the materials eventually returns the site to the condition it is found in today.

Nathan Swaney


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