Masters Thesis: GATEWAY

Nadi AirportToday, the design of airports – and their success – is conventionally measured by its efficiency; by its ability to manage the arrival and departure of planes on time for the minimum of passenger effort.Airports such as London Heathrow – the “gateway” into the UK – has seen extensive renovation over its years to facilitate the growing demand of air travel, where the passenger spends most of the time battling the queues.The focus of this research project is the design of an airport terminal which invokes “gateway”, as a way of reflecting a nation’s unique identity. The selected context for this project is Fiji Islands, a holiday destination sought by many across the globe for its unique culture, climate and tourism attractions.The project begins by investigating the historical context of travel, highlighting interesting facts, discoveries and achievements made through the evolution of transport, such as the emergence of the Stagecoach era in the 18th century, to the first international flight from London to Paris in 1919. The focus is then shifted towards the architecture of early airport terminals precedents, from the expressionism of Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal in 1962, to the celebration of regional characteristics in Norman Foster’s Beijing Airport, begun 2003. The study of precedents are of particular significance to the topic of this research, ultimately informing strategies for design. The intention is to prepare, or perhaps re-configure, the normal processes of an airport terminal as a series of experiences which reflect and instigate the imagery and presence of Fiji.

For the complete document, click below

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Project: Keeping it Roots

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Lashing technique performed on bamboo.

Culture, tradition, heritage and family. These words highlight the importance and characteristics for Polynesian  families. In my last post, I outlined how my project focused on the community and the richness of Pacific Island culture, and during the project I came to meet two very talented young men who run an organization known as The Roots: Creative Entrepreneurs. Waikare and Martin offered me the opportunity to take part in some of the local projects they were doing over the break. At the events, we learnt about weaving, lashing and carving. The work was done solely by volunteers over multiple weekends and this went to show how valuable a community, the partnership, this “family” was to the Polynesian people. The work was done by individuals of all age groups, from primary school students to veteran master carvers. The pieces were usually fabricated at local leisure centres and the final pieces were showcased at the Pasifika Events Festival. Thank you Waikaere and Martin for this wonderful opportunity.

For more info on The Roots, please click on the image below.
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Project: Object of Empowerment – Semester 2 2012

The idea here was to design and built at full scale, a transportable object that addressed our observation about the needs of the community that is on the move and ever-shifting.

My observation was based on the idea of youth and integration. I wanted to make something that would be enjoyable to use and be educational to an extend at the same time. My concept was to make a puzzle, with each of the faces to represent a powerful Polynesian symbol upon completion. Children, teenagers and adults would attempt to solve the puzzle by matching colours of the patterns together. The box is made of 7mm ply, was laser cut into the shapes then glued and nailed together. Stencils of the patterns were made then spray painted onto the box. The object was showcased in the township of Otara. Amazing skills were picked up during this process and wonderful things learnt about the life and people of Otara. This is the first of two parts of this project, so stay tuned for the bigger, better, second half!

Enjoy the video!

Here are a two images of what I had initially pictured this object of empowerment to turn out like.

Grand Theft Auto – Vice City

Grand Theft Auto - Vice City

Well I was born in the 90′s and I must say, I kinda feel missed out. Why? Because I never got to meet Tommy Vercetti in the 80′s! The lead character in Rockstar Games (in my opinion) greatest game ever, GTA: VC. Amongst a sequel which successfully takes us into a different era each time, I must say that the 80′s seemed the most fun, by faaaaaaaaaaaaar. Even when comparing graphics and in-game mechanics, it still ROCKS. Literally. Even the radio stations are amazing. Having stopped playing this game religiously since 2004, I still find myself on YouTube jamming the tunes reminescing the good old sunset crusies in my infernus down by Vice Beach, woops I just ran someone over, great now I have a star… Atleast I don’t care about the sand in the car, which really isn’t mine.

On the general note, the GTA series is also probably the best series to ever have been released on gaming platforms. Nothing has ever come close to what GTA has provided us with. Many have tried to emulate similar systems but It’s kinda sad to see them get on those shelves, then stay there. It is rather difficult to find yourself a legit, brand spanking new copy of this. I fortunately, have what I think is a special edition, with ***GLITTER*** fonting! Never, ever will I be giving that away.

If you have never played this, you my friend have missed out. On a lot. Let alone the 70′s, this game heavily inspired not only myself, but most of my friends. 1990′s, our teenage lives, were made a heck of a lot better.

Thank you Rockstar Games.

Project: Missing Teeth – Semester 1 2011

Project: Missing Teeth

This image shows the façade of a mixed use building I had designed last year as a part of our design studio. The intention of the façade is to convey ideas of mixing, weaving, intertwining and is constructed of an iron composite material to reflect the train tracks on the rear of the site. Similar to the performances of a fence, the façade starts on the ground and elevates till it suits the façade heights of the adjacent buildings to maintain street front heirachy. Entrance into the complex through this wall was provided by careful placing of specific bars which stopped at junctions yet at the same time saving the form from traditional door systems.

Project: Kingsland Mixed Use 2011
Modelled: Archicad + Artlantis

Project: Theatre of Disbelief – Semester 1 2012

Stepping into the first semester, the Masters of Architecture (Prof) design studio provided us with a wicked brief. One which required us to design and detail a theatre which reflects, or some what derived from old school dance/drama performances. The first few tasks were more group oriented and we looked into Shakespeare. We decided to do Hamlet. So after a few reads here and there, we had to perform a brief, 5 minute version of Hamlet. I played Hamlet’s father, yes the Ghost :). After this, it was all individual work. What fascinated me about the play was the tragic death of all main characters in all of his plays. I focused on this notion of emotion taking over the strongest characters. I decided to bring this into play and do something similar to an existing building on my site (Customs West Street, Auckland). The explosive expressions of emotional forms penetrating the rigid square building on the site created architectural elements such as entrances, windows, shading devices and systems to hide roof top services. It was by far, the most exciting project of all selections this semester. Very happy to have had done this. Even if it meant I had to do the many late nights and one over nighter that I ended up doing. Bring on D.Studio Semester 2!

Modelled on: Google Sketchup Pro 8.0
Rendered: 3DSMax + Adobe Photoshop CS5

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Ardmore Open Day!

Today I visited the Ardmore open day with a few friends and family where various types of planes and aircraft simulators were being showcased. Luckily, I got to have a go on this bad boy! Success!  This was also an opportunity to meet people in the force and get an in-depth on how to start training etc. It all seems pretty wicked. Needless to say, I can see myself  wearing a pilots uniform on the runaway ready to take off and collect the hours that will get me my PPL some day :)

Check out my 500px for pictures from the day: http://500px.com/AshneilK

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