Site Visit II

Observing With Fresh Eyes


I knew I needed much to consider for a relocation of my tea event. I decided to visit the gardens to get a better sense of place and logically consider a suitable space for my tea event which wasn’t too obstructing and which provided an even balance of Maori touch.

This visit was very different to the other couple times as I had never seen the Wintergardens before in the midst of autumn. I was taken aback by the orange and yellow leaves fallen on the ground through the truss alleys. The maintenance workers also placed hundreds upon hundreds of potted flowers all throughout the courtyard which gave the gardens a sense of liveliness and vibrancy I hadn’t seen here previously.

Tea experience potential Location: Existing Coolhouse

One potential location would be in one of the existing glasshouses to carry my idea across with the balance and connection between British style architecture and the experience of serving Maori tea with an additional touch of Maori history for educational purposes. For this location it would need to be in the cool house as the plants aren’t nearly as tall and obstructing and the air isn’t as humid as the tropical house. If this was my location I would propose a second level to the glasshouse either in the centre (considerably smaller than the parameter), or along the parameter of the building to view the plants below from both instances. This design idea however would prove to be obstructing of light and space which wouldn’t aid in the growth of the plants. In addition, any stairways or elevators for public access up to the second floor would also obstruct the walkways and space for planting.

Tea experience potential Location: The Fernery

My initial thoughts experiencing the fernery is its main purpose is a walk through experience of native New Zealand bush. This location would tie in well to my concept of using indigenous NZ plants for a traditional Maori tea experience. However, I was very fixated on creating an interior space and creating an atmosphere within a new built structure. Previously I was turned away from the fernery because I didn’t think there was adequate space to build a structure such as a tea house. It would also have to cut down a few precious trees and shrubs which had been growing there for decades. I would also have to dig holes to install columns to support my structure above ground which would destroy or damage tree and plants roots which isn’t ideal considering this structure would be temporary (abiding by the heritage 1 site status).

With a more open mind to new possibilities and further consideration to the feedback given to me by my peers and teachers, I agree that the fernery is ideal to communicate the propositions, purpose and driving factors of my intervention. The main feature of the fernery is a walk to absorb visitors in New Zealand bush: with aspects of temporal elements as light shifts and casts shadows from the pergolas and plants, showing sculptures of key native New Zealand birds, and bird sounds from visiting creatures. I will use these aspects to my advantage and propose a tea experience which teaches you the history of these certain tea plants which is located on the perfect setting, connecting the theme of Maori history and culture of natural remedies.



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