Uku Papakainga

2021, Design 4

Uku Papakainga is a humble housing project that focuses on community, sustainability, and cultural inheritance at Hauai Bay, Rawhiti. The planning of the project took reference from traditional Maori living to create a contemporary Maori lifestyle. Private areas are separated from communal spaces. To foster the idea of community, Whare Puni (Sleeping house) focuses on spaces occupied only for sleep, while the Whare Kai( Dining House) and Mara Kai(Garden) encourage community gathering. Multiple entrances and pathways were applied to all building typologies, providing numerous ways for the hapu to come together.

The design is mainly driven by the existent Moana and Whenua, nestling into nature, blurring the boundaries between the built environment and nature through porches that act as in-between spaces softening the threshold between the manmade and nature.

Using locally extracted rammed earth in walls combined with modern construction techniques fused with timber and industrial material of the metal roof create a Modern Vernacular architecture that expresses the resources of the area, unique to the site of Rawhiti.

Additionally, commercial areas such as the fish market, market, workshop, community garden, and nursery provide opportunities for the hapu to connect with the wider community.