The Watchful Ones

2021, Design 1

Mj Antaran
Tutor: Hans Hong

Mt. Maungarei also known as “The watchful mountain” or the “Mountain of Reipae” – refers back to the legend of the two sisters from Waikato, Reipae and Reitu. Both sisters were headed to the North on the back of a Large Karearea (Maori falcon), where mid-flight Reipae decided to stop at Whangarei where she fell in love with a chieftain and found herself a new home. The mountain takes reference from this narrative.

The project, “The Watchful ones’’ transforms the once overlooked mountain as a civic symbol to honour Reipae. And the vision was a portrayal of the Maori ancestress, hidden beneath, unknown to the modern civilisation. Despite the circumstances, she continues being ‘watchful’, constantly surveilling her home.

It plays with the unconventionality of reversing or turning a hiking trail ‘upside down’ – experiencing what it feels like to be underground, to be Reipae herself. This was made possible by integrating notions of periscope architecture, hence the presence of two periscopic towers driven underneath. Through this innovation, it enables us to see from below; the play of light’s reflectivity and refractivity.

This project has a purpose of delivering a new experience; how we become Reipae; how we become “The Watchful Ones”.