From Bridge to Bridging: a Wellness Facility Spanning Auckland City Hospital & the Auckland Domain
This project initiates a design research that explores broader questions of wellness in the context of the Auckland City Hospital. Straddling AUT’s Design for Health and Wellness Lab at the Hospital and Spatial Design, the project considers whatfacilities might help facilitate the actualisation and imagining of greater states of wellness beyond the immediate clinical treatment enacted by the Hospital. What is the relationship between place, architecture and wellness?
Tracking the place relations and associations of landscape with healthcare as they have manifest historically in the Hospital context, the project looks to reassert the role of memory and spirituality in recovery. Through the research, the need for an outreach facility was identified. This research proposes a location that bridges the Hospital site and the neighbouring Domain, drawn into consideration are a raft of factors underwriting European and Māori use and association with this locale in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. Landscape significance has become one way of finding a means for expressing spiritual value beyond denominational channels. Questions of bridging, longing and relations to a broader whole or ‘infinity’ have been sought in landscape nodes and topographical profiles. Paralleling this exploration, the project aims to synthesise organising elements of the Domain, linkages that tie together the Auckland War memorial Museum, the Auckland Domain Wintergardens and the Hospital site with the key adjacent spiritual place, Pukekawa. Paralleling these place investigations is an awareness of the coemergence of two significant nineteenth century European institutions dedicated to cataloguing and intervening into life as such—the museum and the hospital.
Looking for space-types not pinned to the institutional forms of hospitals or museums, this study follows recent research into alternative avenues for built form serving health. Investigating early religious buildings in New Zealand, and tracking the fusion of European and Māori elements they evidence, the project aims for a productive correlation between interior qualities and broader place-relations, one that may be capable of initiating a contemporary reworking of spiritual space and the question of wellbeing at its heart.