Poti Whakaora

2023, D1

Poti Whakaora is a kayak shelter that evokes feelings of “welcome” & “rest” through the transition of spaces for users visiting Rangitoto Island.

The first design feature noticed is the exterior thatching facade weaved with organically shaped metal structures inspired by Rangitoto’s contour and wave curvatures. Users can enter from the “front” entrance or by any naturally occurring openings. These Natural openings give users free will to choose which end of the “journey” they want to experience first, challenging the relationship between “front and back”.

If chosen to start at the “front” entrance, users are welcomed with tall sculptural timber framings that allow the storing of kayaks at different elevations, creating a chandelier effect on the ceilings. As users weave through the kayaks, they are guided by glimpses of diffused lighting created by the three overlapping canopies. The intensity of light let into this space is controlled by the stretching and pulling of the expanded thatching material.

At the end of the journey, users are met with a spotlight that shines upon an elevated circular conversation pit celebrating their journey and safety, inviting them to reflect and rest.