For the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, the Marae is space that provides a focus for each community. Connected to the concept of Tūrangawaewae, which translates as ‘a place to stand’, the Marae is a place of connection to both landscape and ancestry. It is a place of debate, support, celebration and mourning.
This studio will explore how such a place could be designed outside of New Zealand, without ancestral or historical connection to a place, and without a belonging to any one iwi, or Māori tribal group. A contemporary reinvention of the traditional Marae to create a new place to stand, in Melbourne.
A Place to Stand will explore complex design questions, of the connections between Maori and non-Maori New Zealand immigrants, of the relationships between new Zealand and Australia, tradition and invention, urban and suburban.
This project is the vision of Marae Melbourne, a group representing Maori living in Melbourne (there are 140-170,000 Maori in Australia). It is their ambition that the design work produced in the studio will be used to develop a fully realised facility.
Other partner groups in this studio will be the Melbourne Storm Rugby League club, the City of Melbourne and Hobson’s Bay City Council.