Janae Van Panahon 2 The Evolution of Creation : Separation of Ranginui and Papatuanuku

Student Spatial 2021 Credits
  • Lecturer
    Lama Tone
  • School
    The University of Auckland

This design is inspired by the Māori world view of the Evolution of Creation which focuses on the separation of the sky father, Ranginui and the earth mother, Papatuanuku. There is an evident tension in the built form to demonstrate the parents' opposition to being separated - the Papatuanuku space is tied to the land, whilst, the Ranginui space is tied upwards to the sky. To clearly differentiate the spaces, Papatuanuku is represented with the customary marae gabled roof with curved forms, whilst, Ranginui is represented with modern forms and an emphasis on technological constructions. The architecture aims to communicate the story of the Evolution of Creation through the built form and progressive experience - by bringing people from the state of Te Pō, to Te Ao Mārama, and finally Te Rangi.

Te Pō symbolises the darkness that was caused by the parents' fusion. In this space, there is a dark exhibition / video gallery to educate the people about the creation story in order for them to understand the architecture.

Te Ao means "the light" which symbolises the world of light as a result of the separation. There is water flowing into this space as a representation of Papatuanuku's blood. The walls are made out of woven panels because in Maori society, fibre arts are used to symbolise female practice. The space is embedded within the ground (with an underground performance space) to embrace and celebrate Papatuanuku.

Te Rangi is a space with a sense of openness to the surrounding landscape - connecting the people, the land, and the ocean. The form of the shelter is a metaphor for the double hull canoe that Polynesians used for navigating. The shelter design features a steel gridshell with wood grain coated aluminium, glass and PV panels.

Additionally, the chosen site for this project is Puketutu Island because it is relatively close to the Maori and Pasifika community and they are the main people who will be using this space.