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University of Cambridge
Architecture Society




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︎Year 5


Charlotte Airey

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Unlearning Wilderness


This project rethinks the New Zealand Pākeha relationship with landscapes considered ‘wild.’ These are either bounded and set aside for conservation or commodified for real estate. It reclaims the ‘bach’ (holiday shack) typology as a mechanism for not only leisure and retreat from the city, but as a means of engaging and learning about one’s relationship with the environment. The proposal is an alternative vision for the as-yet-undeveloped Wainuiototo New Chum landscape, and the broader coastal holiday landscape in New Zealand which has been undergoing a fate of subdivision and suburbanisation for holiday homes. Instead the scheme looks to indigenous forestry research as the underlying reason for dwelling in this landscape. ‘Baches’ are temporary accommodation for those (professional and volunteers) who participate in the ecological surveying, planting, and stewardship of the surroundings. These huts are in dialogue with the forestry centre, the main defining threshold to this landscape containing nursery, small mill and educational and work spaces. The bach is thus no longer an exclusive private dwelling on a land fragmented by land titles but a node in a network which contributes to a broader understanding of the forest and our place within it.
New Zealand



Charlotte Airey

︎Year 5





Year 1
MStMAUS