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The dam archive: Revealing the hidden mnemonic qualities of the hydro dams along the Waikato River

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dc.contributor.advisor Brown, Daniel K.
dc.contributor.author Hew, Jia Ying
dc.date.accessioned 2016-08-11T03:21:45Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-11-03T19:28:07Z
dc.date.available 2016-08-11T03:21:45Z
dc.date.available 2022-11-03T19:28:07Z
dc.date.copyright 2016
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/29952
dc.description.abstract Perhaps more than any other technologies, massive hydro dams embody and impact upon many different aspects of local history: industrial, social, landscape and ecological. For this reason, hydro dams can be considered as mnemonic devices reflecting important periods of a nation’s heritage. The mnemonic qualities of dams are often not recognised due to their image as solitary machines most often in rural locations. The heritage value of dams is often overlooked once their construction is completed; they are perceived as engineered machines, with their social meanings hidden. The eight hydro dams along New Zealand’s Waikato River are an important example of such dams. As a sequence of eight, these dams form the backbone of the New Zealand electrical grid and currently supply 13% of the electricity in the country. Each of these dams has significantly transformed its New Zealand context, while also contributing an important chapter to the region’s ongoing industrial, social, landscape and ecological history. This thesis argues that the addition of new architectural interventions in association with these dams can help reveal their hidden mnemonic qualities and increase people’s awareness of their heritage value as architecture, not just as machines. The metaphoric programme of an ‘archive’ will be used to help enhance visitors’ awareness of some of these dams’ unique histories that reflect mnemonic opportunities in relation to the industrial, social, landscape and ecological history of New Zealand. The metaphor of the ‘archive’ and the concept of archival processing will be applied to the Waikato River hydro dams in order to investigate how new architectural interventions can dissect, record and re-present their heritage narratives and increase our recognition of the mnemonic qualities such dams represent. The dams’ heritage narratives are multi-layered and interwoven. The thesis argues that these multi-layered heritage narratives were initiated by the dynamic interrelationships between each dam and its unique setting; the acts of construction and the subsequent transformations of the landscape add to these narratives. These multi-layered heritage narratives are explored and revealed through four main design themes: multiplicity of layers, revealing, friction and on-going discourse. By reawakening and preserving awareness of these heritage narratives, the mnemonic qualities they represent can be safeguarded for future generations. The final developed design experiment explores how new contemporary architectural layers can be added to these heritage structures, to help transform people’s perception of the dams as mnemonic architectural devices reflecting important aspects of New Zealand heritage. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.rights Access is restricted to staff and students only. For information please contact the Library. en_NZ
dc.subject Dam en_NZ
dc.subject Archive en_NZ
dc.subject Architecture en_NZ
dc.title The dam archive: Revealing the hidden mnemonic qualities of the hydro dams along the Waikato River en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of Architecture en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 120101 Architectural Design en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcseo 970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline Architecture en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Masters en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Master of Architecture en_NZ

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