Adaptive Re-use of Architecture in Uniform: An Investigation into the Post-Military Landscape of Motutapu Island
New Zealand’s engagement in battles fought overseas during the Second World War is recognised as this country’s major contribution towards this war. This contribution has become a powerful statement of New Zealand’s national identity. What is less remembered is the valuable war effort made within our own country at this time to ward off any potential invasion by the Japanese enemy both within our borders and throughout the Pacific Ocean.
This thesis explores the architectural adaptive re-use and new design of the surviving United States Navy Magazine stores on Motutapu Island. The contemporary appropriation and architectural intervention of these stores provides a catalyst to reveal and communicate their history and significance to modern New Zealanders; the importance of a time in history where the American’s used Auckland, Motutapu Island, and greater New Zealand as a staging post to protect the Pacific Ocean from invading forces. The proposal by the thesis to use the magazines for overnight visitor accommodation on the island provides both longevity and new life to these structures whilst complementing their setting within the Island’s conservation reserve. The adaptive re-use of this ‘architecture in uniform’, a specific defensive architecture typology defined by architect Jean-Louis Cohen, is in pursuit of commemorating and paying homage to the very important active defence role New Zealand played within the Pacific Theatre during the Second World War. In so doing it is hoped that this will assist in the understanding of this aspect of New Zealand’s history.