Kelly Ting Elim Hu Shnaia Xu Hangi(ng) Together: Traversing the Temporal Terrains of Te Teko

  • Tauira / Students
    Elim Hu, Kelly Ting, Shnaia Xu
  • School
    The University of Auckland Waipapa Taumata Rau
Judge's comments:

Strongly informed by local Maori of Te Teko, this design elegantly translated the rich cultural and historical context of the Kōkōhinau community into a harmonious architectural composition that not only touches the earth lightly but also weaves together innovative eco-conscious housing with communal spaces, fostering a sense of unity and continuity


Touching the earth lightly, our project seeks to revitalise the Kōkōhinau community of Te Teko in the Bay of Plenty by establishing an innovative eco-papakainga for one hundred inhabitants. Alike the drying process fundamental prior to storing food in the Pātaka, our eco-papakainga envisions to be this Great Whata for residents renting in a temporary framework on Iwi-owned whenua.

The notion of ‘hanging in temporality’ resonates in the light construction of houses being hung on timber scaffoldings, elevated gently off the flood-prone plains of Kōkōhinau. Conceptually, the papakainga’s porous polycarbonate and thatched canopy sweeps from the tail to the head of the site (the Kokohinau marae as the spiritual head), housing whanau and whenua under one roof like one great family. This accentuates the idea of ‘perpetual becoming’ as residents journey together on a pedagogical landscape of living, growing, eating, sharing and learning together.

The masterplanting (masterplanning) begins with the harvesting tower at the centre - ‘the first kumara planted’ according to the quincunx model of maori kumara cultivation; every space within the papakainga is relational to each other. Smaller living clusters are weaved together by the four communal nodes: childcare, health centre, library and the harvesting tower. Different housing typologies are paired up with each other to form supportive, co-dependent networks of interaction, such as single occupant homes with family homes.

Structurally, the papakainga is built from locally sourced CLT derived from Iwi-owned forests. Strategies such as rainwater harvesting between homes and the harvesting tower echo regenerative socio-ecological practices as residents come together to create a sustainably prosperous and collaborative future.