Henry Stephens

Henry Stephens

Oslo, NO



Modern rural environments represent a totally undescribed and highly volatile condition in which new, unique architectures and communities are only just beginning to develop. No longer a site marked by nostalgia and tradition, the unrelenting speed of global processes have left behind a weird territory of genetic experimentation, international migration and agricultural mechanisation in the global countryside - a halfway house between the old and the new.


Our project, Woolopolis, aims to consolidate the various functions and programs of New Zealand’s wool production into one dynamic community. Traditionally the programs associated with New Zealand’s wool economy - pasture, housing, shearing, production facilities and markets have been separated by both geography and context. This separation is no longer effective in a globalised world, so we turn to cohesion as a means of improving performance.

Thus, Woolopolis takes the form of a complex network of programs - processing facilties at ground level, housing units lofted above, with the market functioning as the communal centre of the complex and mediating between the two. The architecture functions as a machine in which sheep can be fed, shorn, the wool processed and sold, all the while housing a diverse community of farm and factory workers, shearing hands, agricultural scientists, designers and investors integral to the wool economy.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Wanganui-Manawatu Region, New Zealand
My Role: design, visuals, text
Additional Credits: Completed with Hannes Frykholm