Very in tune with nature and their surroundings, many navigational methods were derived from simple observation and careful consideration of the surrounding environment. The manipulation of the ocean currents, in combination with celestial navigation and the patterns of migrational birds, helped to guide the ancestors of Aotearoa on their journeys to newfound beginnings and ensured safe passage against the mighty Tangata Pasifika.
Hape and his journey upon the Tainui Waka, from greater Hawakiwi to the North Island of Aotearoa, provided much inspiration for this project. Mapping out their voyage along the way in an attempt to illustrate the symbolic value of voyaging through traditional methods. The Tainui’s journey throughout Tamaki Makaurau, was challenged by the crossing of the Otahuhu Portage. Upon which the waka was lifted out of the Tamaki River (the Waitemata side) and carried across the thin strip of land that separates the two bodies of water into the nearby Manukau Moana.
Translating these themes, the collection of various structures and their associated programs are articulated in the form of a navigational instrument. Te Kapehu Whetū (The Maori Star Compass), transposing the compass onto the site, extruding volumes and extending reference lines to create the architecture. Resulting in offsetting radial forms that develop outwards from the center of the site, with strong axes and apertures interesting the forms, suggesting direction, motion, growth or extension.
The celebration of the journey, Rangi te Moana (Heaven and Sea), this community-driven architecture inspires to capture the essence of voyaging and the discovery of knowledge. Symbolizing the important relationship between Aotearoa and Tangata Moana. This structure will provide a space for the people of Mangre and greater Tamaki Makaurau to celebrate their place and connection to Te Moana Nui-a-Kiwa. Acting as a community hub for the club, it provides much needed multi-purpose space supporting a wide range of community and educational activities. A place in which enduring Mana will be forever ingrained for generations to come. Te Wai Māreparepa – The Rippling Waters, a small splash upon Tamaki Makaurau’s vast Pacifica landscape, embracing the people of the land, for a strong community is the foundation to success.
(In this real-life project, the Portage Club requested the inclusion of a memorial to the late Kafoa Latu. A prolific member of the club, Mangere and the greater South Auckland community, Kafoa touched the lives of many, leaving behind a legacy that will be forever remembered. Much like the historic stonefields of Ihumātao, Kafoa has been immortalized through stone, returning back to the land. Articulated through volcanic basalt and lightly resting atop a totem out on the water, The memorial is centered with the Manukau Moana aperture, returning to the water, acting as a place for the greater Pacifica community to come and pay their respects.)