Flying Ground: Architecture and Access

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dc.contributor.advisor McKay, W en Edward, Samuel en 2011-12-14T03:22:40Z en 2011 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract The focus of this thesis is an exploration of how architecture can aid in creating social integration and promote inclusion. One of the roles of the architect is to assist in creating environments that can be universally inhabited, whether or not the user has a disability. A 'compliance' approach which sees regulatory imperatives as minimum requirements is unsatisfactory when considering designing buildings that are universally accessible. Instead accessibility should be considered as a factor in good design, addressed at the conceptual stages of the design process and based in a conceptual grounding in the inherent importance of creating an architectural design that creates equality amongst its users through a creative understanding of the benefits of 'universal' access. If access is considered by the architect at the early process of a design, the finished product will not be hindered by retroactively attempting to meet compliance standards at a minimum level. Differing definitions of disability are considered. Many disabled people reject the 'medical model' of disability, which stresses impairment, pointing out that we are all impaired to varying degrees. It is society that 'disables' its members by assigning them the label of 'disabled', and creating physical barriers. Inadequate and inaccessible housing has a deep personal impact on the lives of those living with disabilities and their families. Case studies of people and their families living with disability and of Auckland buildings carried out for this thesis illustrate this. The architect should aim to produce what Goldsmith calls 'architectural enablement,' designing so as to prevent people being disabled when they use buildings. That a building should meet the needs of all its users, rather than being designed for a special group, was a point emphasised in interviews in my research. The theme of social inclusion within the built environment is at the heart of the design objectives of this thesis. A built environment accessible to all benefits not just people with impairments, but also promotes a more equal, inclusive and cohesive society. A key concept is that of 'universal' design, the objective being to design every product and building so that everyone can use them to the greatest extent possible, rather than to produce a design in which special effort must be made to accommodate 'misfits' or the 'disabled.' The ramp in architecture and its successful use in various important modern iconic buildings is considered. The ramp is both a machine for movement, providing unimpeded movement upwards and downwards, and also a way of viewing the space, offering a changing perspective that allows the architectural language to unravel slowly. The ramp knits together levels of a building, whereas stairs and lifts are just short cuts through a sandwich of floors. The design component of this thesis is for an innercity suburban community in a higher density that integrates people with physical and mental disabilities into an environment that allows them to engage with society daily. My chosen site is the 5 hectare Lion Brewery site in Newmarket. The site runs approximately 440 metres along Khyber Pass Road towards central Newmarket and has a 16 metre fall throughout its length, achieving an approximately 9 storey building at its highest point. The building runs along the southern edge of the site that runs along Khyber Pass Road to deal with the noise from the railway line and tomacimisesun light. The northern edge of the site is greened, which helps connect the site to the Auckland Domain. One of the methods to increase accessibility throughout the architecture is to reduce stairs throughout the main circulation. The housing steps back as it stacks upon itself, cantilevering over the southern edge of the site. By stepping the housing, a ramp with an accessible incline of 1/20 (well below the 1:12 dictated by the building code) is placed on the roof of the housing on the floor below, replacing and acting as a suburb lane in this higher density situation for the residences, generating spaces where social integration occurs as a matter of course. From the car parks below, through to the houses and the public spaces, there are completely accessible routes. Residents' houses open out on to the ramped lanes; their lives will spill out on to them. The proposal envisages people walking, biking, or wheeling up and down the ramps to their houses, allowing the chance interactions with neighbours that create community. The housing in the proposal is designed to be universal by integrating and helping to create social connections and support systems within the housing scheme. This will generate a diverse living situation, which will work well for those with impairments, but is just as suitable for any member of society in which we live. Firstly this thesis will deconstruct applicable regulation and policy to provide an insight into how disability is perceived by policy makers, which in turn affects the way architects deal with meeting codes. It will then look at the varying definitions of 'disability' and offer the term 'architecturally disabled'. Next I will consider the current housing situation in New Zealand in relation to disability, and provde further illustrations of public buildings around Auckland city that lack inclusive design. Contemporary thinking in universal architectural design wil then be considered. It will illustrate society's relationship with the built environment, introduce the idea of universal design, and contemplate the ramp as an architectural device. From there I turn to a discussion of the architectural design response on my chosen site, with the overall aim of promoting inclusion and facilitating social integration. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99230008914002091 en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
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dc.title Flying Ground: Architecture and Access en
dc.type Thesis en Arch-Prof en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 260795 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2011-12-14 en
dc.identifier.wikidata Q112886150

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