Master of Architecture - University of Newcastle

Courtney White

Courtney White

Haeata (new dawn)

On the 4th of September 2010 a 7.1 earthquake struck Christchurch followed by a second 6.34 earthquake on the 22nd February 2011.These two events caused major damage in the city centre and eastern suburbs creating a ‘red zone’ of damaged dangerous areas restricted from public access. Houses and land were being purchased by the crown to be demolished and these areas have become vacant, silent and lifeless. The people of Christchurch have been left to rebuild their lives and live with the trauma that they experienced. The event itself doesn’t determine the trauma felt it is the personal experience that dictates the level of trauma. Throughout this project I will be looking at the specific trauma felt by a generation of children that are left with post-traumatic stress disorder and a disrupted childhood that has left them unprepared to start school, analyzing how architecture can be used to combat these symptoms.

‘Haeata’ means new dawn in Maori and it is also the name of my site, Haeata Community Campus. After the earthquakes Haeata Community Campus was created to house students from three primary schools and one high school that was damaged beyond repair. With over 900 students on the roll this large ‘super’ school has tried to incorporate ‘innovative learning’ to try and help the children suffering from trauma. ‘Haeata’ is an integration of teaching, studying and health services to support the children and teaching staff of Christchurch. Using story, material and form It will create spaces to encourage healing and recovery for the children and the community (whanau).