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New Zealand Institute of Architects









Highly commended: Norman Wei

Norman Wei, highly commended at the 2014 NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Awards.

Super-Pacific City: The Saga of Lomipeau by Norman Wei, University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning.

Lomipeau is a mythical, giant Tongan doublehulled canoe. Here, it is the inspiration for a building project – in a future in which environmental change has rendered life on some Pacific Islands untenable – in an autonomous district on New Zealand’s Rangitaiki Plain. The proposal envisages the application of a Pacific tectonic system to a new research-based city, and the evolution of that system through experimentation. New features, such as robotics, would be grafted on to the traditional Pacific way of building. 


Drawing inspiration from the Tongan myth of the sea-faring Lomipeau, Norman Wei has proposed a big-boat, hydraulically powered solution to the Pacific problem of impending inundation. The horizons of this inventive, exuberant and well-illustrated scheme stretch well beyond the Islands to the shores of Asia. It’s an ingenious and very optimistic scenario.

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