2016 Inception Award | Space For …

Charlotte Hughes-Hallett


– a synergy between resilience and pathways –



“Space For…” is an adaptive reuse design proposal for the Aulsebrook warehouse located at 178 Wake eld Street in Wellington Central. Originally constructed in 1913; the architecture is a testimony that’s continuous revision reveals layers of social history. The design proposal is particularly dedicated towards activating the transitional space between

an apartment building’s common areas and private spaces. The spaces that are so often left uninspired and inanimate in residential complexes.

operate as a verb, such architecture would suggest a new valuing of time and the ephemeral.2

Theme Two: Beyond design, from space to place

Despite the processes of globalization – the process of mobility and cultural integration – the bonds between people-place continue to thrive. The continued perception of territorial identities put the cultural homogeneity innate to globalization into question. It is a paradoxical phenomenon where

by individuals are still so often subscribed to their national identity and boundaries in multicultural cities. Free ow of human experience is still not progressive in the age of a “globally interconnected” world. 3


The research-led design questions how, via the themes of adaptive reuse, we can regenerate space without parodying heritage by considering the ‘old’ to be as essential to the architecture as the ‘new’. Using what exists to create what there is to be. An investigation into how space can sanctify vicinities for social interaction and private operations in an inclusive architecture, and exist as a self-conscious cultural expression. To create a project that is truly symbolic of how contextual sensitivity can propel architecture towards becoming a progressive language that addresses the changing needs
and sensibilities of the users. A transient system within which we are all users and contributors as “envisioned futures and recognized pasts.”


1. Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson, Beyond “Culture”: Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference (Cultural Anthropology, 1993), 9.
2. Karen A. Franck, Architecture Timed: Designing with Time in Mind (London: John Wiley & Sons, 2016), 8-17.

3. Isabel Gil, Nature Versus the City: Archeology of the (Post)Modern (Wurzburg: Konigshausen & Neumann, 2007).

The twelve private apartments that range between
35 and 45 metres squared sit complacently within
the existing structure of the building. An atrium was introduced into the existing tectonic and permeated the sequential layering of horizontal planes. Through the design’s development what initially served purely as vertical light well began to function as the buildings new axle. The atrium guided the employment of new lateral and vertical circulation routes and its negative volume sponsored opportunities for the social zones to inhabit it. By fostering social interaction through design, these intermediate shared spaces began

to perform as extensions of the private residences. Ultimately interlacing the social and private domains.

“… space itself become a kind of neutral grid on which cultural difference, historical memory, and

societal organization are inscribed.” 1 Akhil Hupta & James Ferguson

Theme One: Architecture as a verb

In an advancing society that has stylized perfection, the tired and the old are left hopelessly in the
wake of the past. But how does a society deal
with urbanization and people’s navigation towards living in single urban dwellings. Whereby the scale and density of a place is constantly variable while the need to upgrade the sense of community and provide new facilities, the debate between private vs. public, progress vs. conservation, and land value vs. social value are impending. If we cease to perceive architecture as a noun; alternatively allowing it to