CATALYTIC PROJECTS

Below is a brief excerpt from each of the projects in this category. Click on the links or image to see the full project panel details and illustrations.

Integrated Neighbourhood - Slovo Park

Exhibitor: Michael Hart Architects Urban Designers

The informal housing settlement of Slovo Park is located within the township of Coronationville. The settlement is flanked by open space to the north within Coronationville and open ground to the east within the township of Crosby.The study area is located in western Johannesburg within Administration Region B and within the city's east west development corridor.

READ MORE...

SAPS Retreat Railway Police Station

Exhibitor: Makeka Design Lab

The Retreat Railway Police Station acknowledges that a better public engagement can be fostered by fashioning spaces and environments that promote transparency and visibility, which are open and welcoming, and most importantly are safe and accessible. The building plays its part in the narrative of a better, more efficient and more connected South African Police Service to be used and accessed by the citizens it serves.

READ MORE...

The Aesthetics of Safety

Exhibitor: Makeka Design Lab

Rail is the accepted backbone of public transport in the Western Cape, contributing almost 59% of the total public transport profile, which in turn is responsible for 29% of the total transport profile in the city. The railway police force were disbanded during the late 1980’s after enduring allegations of acting as an enforcer for the apartheid regime, stricken by rumours of state sanctioned torture and other human rights abuses. The dissolution of this specialised police unit later proved to be a liability post 1994 with escalating crime on trains and at various train station stations, including vandalism, aggravated robbery, and violent assaults etc.

READ MORE...

Urban Acupuncture - Khayelitsha

Exhibitor: Makeka Design Lab

Khayelitsha is the largest and last township to be formally established in the Western Cape. Located at the heart of the Cape Flats and abutting Mitchel’s Plain, its narrative of dislocation, hope, and unequal access to resources, amenity and infrastructure positions the area as an exemplar of Apartheid informed informality. President Thabo Mbeki identified it as one of twenty national urban renewal nodes with a specific role to play in terms of social cohesion, upliftment and integration across the fractured cultural divide. The central business district was conceived to create a new urban room, an inspirational public realm for a devastated and desolate community lacking any resilient hierarchy of formalised ‘publicness.’

READ MORE...

Integrated Neighbourhood - Slovo Park

INTEGRATED NEIGHBOURHOOD - SLOVO PARK

Johannesburg 2011
Design Consultant: Michael Hart Architects. Urban Designers
Client: Gauteng Local Government and Housing / City of Johannebsurg

The Study Area

The informal housing settlement of Slovo Park is located within the township of Coronationville. The settlement is flanked by open space to the north within Coronationville and open ground to the east within the township of Crosby.The study area is located in western Johannesburg within Administration Region B and within the city's east west development corridor.

Design Analysis :Status Quo

The acquired land to the north and the east of the settlement offer the opportunity to extend the development over a larger area offering a Greenfields element to the proposed development. The larger development offers the opportunity to link with surrounding road networks.The southern edge is bounded by the railway reserve , forming a hard boundary edge. Connectivity shall encourage opportunities of mixed use retail and commercial activities. The direct linkages from neighbouring areas will inform a wider consumer catchment allowing the future economic sustainability of the study area.

Urban Design Approach: Connectivity with neighbouring suburbs.

This is beneficial on many levels. Lines of movement shall be direct and convenient; this will improve the routing of public transportation, direct movement for private vehicles wil open up access for pedestrians and bicycles in an east west direction, up to date the sites have been an obstacle for movement and therefore the decline of growth.
Continuity of the urban fabric, improving desire lines and introducing varying built typologies and uses shall achieve a positive and dynamic neighbourhood.

Pedestrian Orientated Design (POD)

This approach aims to create an equitable use between Vehicle and Pedestrians. POD leads to a clear definition of road hierarchies, public transportation , vehicular collector roads, neighbourhood roads and pedestrian / private vehicular roads with integrated street courts.
Fine grain block layout, an open street network with variations shall create a walkable neighbourhood. The inclusion of mid block pedestrian "right of way" paths have been inluded to link the high level public transport route with mixed use nodes of community / retail and recreational facilities . The pedestrian right of way is flanked on either side with activity generating uses such as retail shops, informal and formal trading opportunities.
Safety of pedestrians is paramount to the success of creating a walkable neighbourhood. Landscaping, paving, lighting and street furniture and long term maintenance must be part of the development budget.
Socio -economic functions and relevant infrastructure shall be invested in within the public realm to ensure the attraction for business opportunities.

Economic Development opportunities for small scale economic activity.

Economic activity shall be a planned component of the development of Slovo Park to ensure an economic and socially sustainable settlement. The development shall offer a hierarchy of economic activity. The range of zoning opportunities shall allow for a mix of business opportunities.

Hierarchies of business zoning:

High order formal Retail/Office / light manufacturing: supermarket, butchery, fruit &vegetable traders, furniture sales and repairs, clothing chains, curtain manufacturers etc;
Second level formal retail: such as small shops, restaurants, take away foods, service orientated shops: hardware, locksmith, laundromat, chemists etc
Third level informal traders and small micro stalls:such as clothing, fresh and cooked food, bags and phone stalls etc
Employment generation is a major objective of the developmental process. It is proposed that the initial infrastructure
investment be directed to road networks and trading related sites and services. This shall enable people to create a foothold on an economic basis assisting them to afford an improved lifestyle. The majority of low income or unemployed beneficiaries who will be attracted to this new neighbourhood form part of the "informal sector". It is therefore important to align 'Urban Markets' with public spaces; pedestrian movement routes and public transportation, pick up and drop off points, allowing entrepreneurs to respond appropriately to urban structuring . The implementation of Urban Markets should remain the responsibility of the Local Authority.

Advantages of promoting markets by means of public actions:

i. Creating urban markets enables small traders to gain access to viable locations.
ii. The physical concentration of traders increases their drawing capacity and enables competition .
iii. Markets in low-income areas can provide a service to consumers. Offering variety, choice of goods, convenience at a localised scale.
The urban markets is linked by the pedestrian route to other forms of public infrastructure, such as the community hall, creche, clinic, public square, parks and religious gathering points reinforcing the importance of public investment and social return.

Continued on Panel 2 | Panel 3 | Panel 4.

MICHAEL HART ARCHITECTS URBAN DESIGNERS

Integrated Neighbourhood - Slovo Park (Panel 2)

INTEGRATED NEIGHBOURHOOD - SLOVO PARK

Johannesburg 2011
Design Consultant: Michael Hart Architects. Urban Designers
Client: Gauteng Local Government and Housing / City of Johannebsurg

Public Realm Investment

The public realm offers a multifaceted element to the development of neighbourhoods. The public realm shall offer choice and diversity for people who live, work or visit the neighbourhood.

The public realm shall be designed to respond to the users needs, enhance new opportunities and encourage a sense of pride and ownership. This will achieve a respect for the environment and improve economic sustainability and future economic growth of the initial investment.

The environment shall be designed to encourage activity and positive social interaction. The architectural character shall be one that responds to the local climate, demonstrates innovative use of materials, colour and texture. Public facilities shall be located so that they respond to hierarchies of transportation and are within walking distances.

Accessibility

The neighbourhood is seen as an extension to the existing suburbs of Crosby and Coronationville. The seamless linkages between the new neighbourhood and its surrounding context shall encourage accessibility of the many shared facilities within the region.

Place making

The proposed development site is geographically featureless. The changes in ground level at the man made embankment shall be utilized to create a green belt and a potential vantage point for the buildings along its east west axis.

The site fa lls gradually from the north to the south, making east west movement more convenient to walk and build along. The relatively small city block configuration will facilitate for a pedestrian orientated environment. The corners of blocks and street intersections become social spaces and opportunities for corner shops and architectural expression.

Social gathering spaces and places of economic activity are located along pedestrian movement corridors, becoming activity spines linking with the higher order movement system.

The major linking road that links Crosby with Corronationville becomes the 'high street' running in an east west direction. The street will accommodate buses and taxis. Buildings along the eastern section of the street shall offer shopping with possible office space and residential apartments on the upper floors. Parking shall take place behind the shopping strip within the inner courtyard. Street parking is proposed along both sides of the road with a colonnaded sidewalk fronting the shops. The 20m road reserve shall accommodate major traffic with the inclusion of a bicycle lane on the southern side of the street. The street shall be well treed with street lighting and furniture along sidewalks.

Symbolic statements and public art are important elements that should be encouraged as these objects and spaces become landmarks and places of meaning and significance.

Public spaces must be seen as primary spaces with neighbourhoods where people interact and experience urban life. Public spaces wi thin lower income neighbourhoods are desirable spaces as they function as extensions to their private residents. It becomes an important element that compliments higher density living conditions. In most high people-density environments the public spaces including residential streets shall be designed as social spaces.

'Streets as public spaces have historically been the carriers of people. Pedestrians on foot often spend more time in street spaces than people in vehicles. The introduction of ' street courts" within neighbourhood roads offers residents a public I social space that is defined for the multi-use of vehicles and social interaction creating small scale nodes for smaller groupings.

Urban Design Sustainability

'There are a number of sustainability categories that should be taken into account at the Urban Design level of development. The overarching concept of sustainability is to ensure that the initial decisions and actions embarked on create opportunity and viability for current and future generations.

Economic sustainability.

Develop opportunities within the public realm for economic based enterprise to take place, from informal traders, recycling and light manufacturing, small retailers and food traders to medium scaled retail and commercial facilities.

Social sustainability.

Create a public realm that offers well defined, friendly outdoor spaces that allows for social interaction, active events, and quiet contemplation. Include public facilities and amenities that encourage cultural, educational and recreational activities. Create accountability from community members and the local authority to ensure efficient management and long term maintenance.

Environmental sustainability

The green network shall fall within landscape guidelines to ensure ecological bio-diversity. The planting of grasses and shrubs in parks, street trees, streetscapes and courtyards shall be planned with hard and soft surfaces. A management strategy for landscape, waterways I storm water channels and grey water shall be considered.

Panel 1 | Panel 2 | Panel 3 | Panel 4.

MICHAEL HART ARCHITECTS URBAN DESIGNERS

Integrated Neighbourhood - Slovo Park (Panel 3)

INTEGRATED NEIGHBOURHOOD - SLOVO PARK (PANEL 3)

Urban Design Principles and Criteria

Johannesburg 2011
Design Consultant: Michael Hart Architects. Urban Designers
Client: Gauteng Local Government and Housing / City of Johannebsurg

Connectivity

Connectivity is an important principle towards new livable neighbourhoods’. It is a major component of the future success through integration. The need to integrate from an economic, transportation and social perspective is to gain access to public facilities, movement routes, business and trading facilities that will create high levels of functionality within the development.

Continuity

Continuity of movement systems that link neighbouring nodes must serve the new neighbourhood in drawing energy into a new activity spine that slows down traffic and allows for stopping of busses, taxis and private vehicles. Continuity shall apply to movement, built form, public space and green spaces.

Movement Network

The major public transport route through Slovo Park encourages a continuation for metro busses to move through a circular loop within the new neighbourhood. The low level of car ownership within the neighbourhood necessitates for an efficient public transport route with convenient stops.
Stops shall be located at retail points, community facilities within the development and adjacent to the existing schools in neighbouring Coronationville.
Movement routes shall linking with the traders market and public facilities.
Low order access roads shall incorporate social spaces and pedestrian street courts.

Activity nodes and spines

The pedestrianised activity spine shall link the business and transportation nodes.

Public space and community facilities

Public spaces shall be implemented in a number of different forms. Open-air spaces, parks and squares shall be well defined. These spaces shall be located adjacent to community centres, crèches or churches allowing for a synergy sharing of uses.

Education and Child care

The development shall rely on the sharing of neighbouring schooling facilities. The inclusion of new preschooling facilities and crèche facilities shall be developed with community centres and community halls.

Health

The location of a community clinic within the development is vital in achieving convenient access within walking distance of all the new residential unit.

Religion

The incorporation of a prominent site for a church building may become a community building with shared uses and facilities. The church is located adjacent to the community centre with a public open space between them. This relationship shall reinforce the identity of ‘place making’ for a new community.
Important community buildings will create landmarks and reference points of a unique character.

Green Network

Creating a Green Network is in response to a basic human need for the natural landscape. The built environment requires a balance between hard construction and soft natural landscape. The environmental importance is to promote and improve natural ecologies, bio diversity, filtering of pollution and natural cooling of urban environments.
The importance is that green spaces are continuous allowing ecological systems to develop throughout the neighbourhood.
Parks are manageable in size ensuring that continual maintenance by the city is possible. Parks are designed as usable spaces and are located within close proximity to community and public facilities. Parks shall be linked with continuous tree planting along pedestrian linkages and sidewalks.
‘Street courts’ alongside residential blocks shall be well treed with indigenous trees creating shaded areas for recreation and play.
Courtyards within residential blocks shall include soft landscaping to enhance the environmental conditions for residents to develop safe and secure children’s play areas.

Key Strategic Objectives

Stitching the urban grid

The urban grid is a movement and services network. The locale of Slovo Park is an opportune infill development between two existing neighbourhoods. The stitching of the urban grid refers to knitting together network systems. Physical movement paths for public transportation, non motorized movement and points of access. It encourages social cohesion, and enhances the connectivity of a disenfranchised community with a broader society. It brings with it infrastructure and services. Integration brings identity and an the independence of getting an address. It brings a sense of recognition and pride.
The ‘knitting together ’of urban areas offers residents choices of transport including walking and cycling to reach a greater variety of amenities.
The grid formation of the proposed neighbourhood is one of a multi-directional public right-of-way network. This allows for motorised transport on a lower order with mixed-mode transport at a reduced speed.

Panel 1 | Panel 2 | Panel 3 | Panel 4.

MICHAEL HART ARCHITECTS URBAN DESIGNERS

Integrated Neighbourhood - Slovo Park (Panel 4)

INTEGRATED NEIGHBOURHOOD - SLOVO PARK (PANEL 4)

Johannesburg 2011
Design Consultant: Michael Hart Architects. Urban Designers
Client: Gauteng Local Government and Housing / City of Johanneburg

Walkability and pedestrian friendly environments

While acknowledging the motor vehicle and its requirements roads shall vary in size reducing in width as the capacity of vehicles reduces. The urban grid allows for vehicle access to all sites, the road pattern and block sizes are based on walking distances and multi-purpose uses for all roads.
The urban layout of smaller blocks within a multidirectional network generates more corners and therefore more stopping of vehicles allowing frequent pedestrian crossings.

Block sizes and block shapes

Block sizes in general shall be less than 100m in length. Walking distances to amenities and transport stops shall not be more than 400m or a 5 minute walking distance. Block shapes are generally square in shape with rectangular blocks along an east west orientation allowing a maximum northern aspect and aligning with an east west contour. The intention is that an entire block shall be accommodated by one development either housing or retail or a mixed use building. The benefit of the smaller block is that it has more exposure to street frontages giving more opportunity for the buildings to respond positively to the streets therefore enhancing the quality of the street.

Urban Design Criteria and Development Guidelines

Density

Development density affects a number of structural development objectives.

Density and Public Transportation

Public transportation is reliant on people density. In order to extend current transportation systems into the new neighbourhood.
The generally accepted status is that the more residential and employment opportunities the more passengers per kilometre and therefore the more frequent services are required.

Density and Employment

The current determination for South Africa is the creation of employment to arrest the cycle of poverty and the increasing social burden on the state.
This integrated neighbourhood design should take cognisance of the need to create employment activities within its community. Businesses and employment activity shall be clustered within a nodal zone in order to create a critical mass. This will ensure a destination for similar activities and support cost effective and convenient public transport.

Residential Densities

The residential component is based on a medium to high ratio of dwelling units per Hectare. Given the housing backlog and the need for a QUANTITATIVE goal this proposal shall be seen within a holistic integrated approach resulting in a QUALITATIVE outcome.

Integrating built urban spaces

The urban structure defines linkages through an open space systems. The pedestrian network links urban squares that are inter linked with other modes of movement. The success of this system is in its clear definition of visible and perceptual connectivity. The open space system is integrated into urban spaces to encourage an environment that is functional, pleasing and memorable. Architectural elements such as thresholds to buildings become transition zones between public and private spaces.

Robustness

The built form shall be constructed for durability and low maintenance. Public spaces shall be finished with good quality materials and thoughtful construction detailing to ensure longevity.

Active streets

All buildings facing onto public spaces shall be designed to facilitate activity. Blank facades and parking strips reflect negatively and create the perception of insecurity and attract negative influences. Entrances,windows and balconies create activity on the street facade and therefore improve security.

Build to edges

The principle of building to edges is to ensure a positive built form and continuous facades. Mixed use buildings shall be built with zero building lines and encourage canopies or covered walkways. Residential buildings shall be built on 2 or 3 meter building lines creating ease of surveillance of the public street.

Streetscapes

Built form shall be utilized to reinforce continuity and rhythm of street facades. Streetscapes shall be enhanced with street furniture, clear well designed and well located signage. Street lighting shall be located at entrance ways, pedestrian walkways, squares, bus stops and road intersections etc.

Bicycle lanes

Non Motorised transportation shall be encouraged. Cycling tracks shall be a dedicated 1.5m lane located between the road and footway on higher order roads. Localized connector roads shall be designed with cycling tracks on one side of the road.

Inner courts

The proposed built form for the development is perimeter blocks with inner courtyards. Where pavilion type buildings are designed separate pavilions shall be located in such a way as to create edge conditions to the site with well defined inner spaces. The design principles is to avoid creating loose undefined “lost” space which so often becomes derelict due to residents not taking ownership of them. These spaces are often become dangerous and attract negative social behaviour.

Panel 1 | Panel 2 | Panel 3 | Panel 4.

MICHAEL HART ARCHITECTS URBAN DESIGNERS

SAPS Retreat Railway Police Station

- click images to see larger version -

SAPS RETREAT RAILWAY POLICE STATION

Location: Retreat Cape Town (2007)


Clients: South African Rail Commuter Corporation / South African Police Service

MOKENA MOKEKA / HOLGER DEPPE
MAKEKA DESIGN LAB

The Retreat Railway Police Station acknowledges that a better public engagement can be fostered by fashioning spaces and environments that promote transparency and visibility, which are open and welcoming, and most importantly are safe and accessible. The building plays its part in the narrative of a better, more efficient and more connected South African Police Service to be used and accessed by the citizens it serves.

The client SARCC (today: PRASA) has chosen strategic locations at major junctions within the Western Cape Rail network for four new Railway Police Stations in order to improve safety and security for railway customers. One of these is Retreat, a low income suburb in the Cape Flats.

The police station provides the northern edge to an existing square in front of the railway station. The square is largely occupied by a taxi rank. The surrounds consist mostly of low scale commercial and light industrial development. Low income housing stretches from the other side of the railway line onwards.

During Apartheid, Institutions were entrenched for the use and protection of a limited minority group. After 1994 the country has been faced with the challenge of the reconstruction of institutions to serve the needs of a greater majority – such as the Constitutional Court. Retreat Police Station makes a valuable contribution to an approach that redefines the police station building typology of South Africa.

Police stations need to represent safety and security instead of the historic representation of a force of fear and oppression. This is achieved through a design language of transparency, identity of service and well-being. The building has a strong presence flanking the station square with its entrance marked by a screen wall and a glazed entrance foyer. The entrance and foyer with its service desk are directly visible to the taxi rank and other public zones and invite rather than repel. Through its openness and choice of material the design response fosters a sense of pride and encourages dignity and self respect.

The building’s simple rectangular form provides a strong, well-scaled edge to the square while the articulation of its ends provides formal interest. The building achieved a high degree in cost effectiveness through a minimalist approach to construction and material. This is reflected in the timber structure under use of SA pine and carefully designed connecting elements in steel. A transparent multiwall product was used for all clerestory glazing. From inside the foyer, SAPS operations are visible and sensible through the lowered screen behind the service desk.

The mystery of light is explored both in an effort to create a design that excites the imagination and that changed with the changing light of the day. It is a civic structure that is delicate at the human scale.

The environment created by this police station is that of openness and provision of service to the people. The sense of dignity reflects itself by the high acceptance of the building in the public and within the police force. The sense of identity and value of the work of the police is welcomed by the individuals working at this station.

The importance of rail as backbone of public transport for all people but specifically for those with lower incomes is emphasized by the provision of a safe and secure environment, for which this building is one piece in the puzzle.

Awards:
CIFA Award of Merit 2007 - Inaugural recipient of the Gold Loerie Award for Three Dimensional & Environmental Design-Architecture.

The Aesthetics of Safety

- click images to see larger version -

THE AESTHETICS OF SAFETY

Location: Cape Town (2007)

Clients: Intersite / South African Rail Commuter Corporation / Metrorail.

SITUATION:

Rail is the accepted backbone of public transport in the Western Cape, contributing almost 59% of the total public transport profile, which in turn is responsible for 29% of the total transport profile in the city. The railway police force were disbanded during the late 1980’s after enduring allegations of acting as an enforcer for the apartheid regime, stricken by rumours of state sanctioned torture and other human rights abuses. The dissolution of this specialised police unit later proved to be a liability post 1994 with escalating crime on trains and at various train station stations, including vandalism, aggravated robbery, and violent assaults etc.

INTERVENTION:

The reintroduction of the Railway police was deemed necessary after a series of brutal incidents, but had two distinct social challenges facing its renaissance; countering the stigma of the past which still resided within living memory of many, and secondly using their reintroduction to connect different parts of the city and its different socio economic conditions and peculiar needs.

Four stations were identified, a new central hub at Cape Town station, and three satellite facilities, dealing with different degrees of social informality and contradictions, namely Philippi, Bellville and Retreat. All three satellites were located on the doorstep of taxi ranks and informal markets and meant to project a sense of the presence of the state apparatus in addressing safety for commuters. The police would be allocated to trains along various routes and thus connect the periphery to the core through a new web of security and visible policing.

Bellville taxi rank remains one of the largest taxi ranks in the Cape peninsula exposed to increased levels of vulnerability to unrest, and protests from the taxi community, and informal sector. Philippi station was located close to a well known meat market, with various health and security challenges relating to food production, high levels of unemployment. Cape Town station as the nexus of the railway police stations had to engage with its role in the heart of the CBD and the largest informal market- which was responsible for 70% of the crimes reported in the city.

Unlike other development processes in which public participation would form an integral component of the delivery of public infrastructure, security processes precluded this. What rather followed was an intense engagement and education of various security experts in the art of environmental design as an enabler of safer communities and to re-instill pride within the police service.

- click images to see larger version -

HYPOTHESIS:

Can a ‘re-imagination,’ of the aesthetic of the police station shift behavioural patterns and ‘re-brand,’ the police? The design strategy undertaken involved re-imagining the architectural expression of the police station as typology into an opportunity to shift the social brand of the police; for the public and police persons. Ensuring the architecture heralded the transition from a police force to a service presented the space for a new logic for the interface of the architecture with place, culture and perception patterns. Every intervention was unique to its place and setting and offered a different exposure to context in all areas, crime reduction was significant and the public perception of the police improved.

Retreat station is well located from a rail perspective with a lower to middle class surrounding environment, with retail center and light industrial activity in the vicinity.

The building frames and completes the urban square which in turn contains the Retreat taxi rank, and the entrance to the railway station. It gives edge definition and mediates scale from its civic aspect and abutting residential fabric.

The project has met with great success from the user perspective, and substantiates the necessity for humanist discourse in the making of civic infrastructure. It has received an award from the Cape Institute of Architecture and received a gold medal in the category Communication Design at the 33rd Annual Loerie Awards in 2011.

The community has experienced heightened safety levels, the building is one of the most popular destinations for police staff, and has brought a renewed sense of civic purpose and pride. It re-establishes a role for architecture as a key component of urban clarity and performance.


- click images to see larger version -

MOKENA MOKEKA / HOLGER DEPPE
MAKEKA DESIGN LAB

Urban Acupuncture - Khayelitsha


- click images to see larger version -

URBAN ACUPUNCTURE

‘The Needle and the (W)Hole.’

Location: Khayelitsha Cape Town (2007)
Design Consultants (phase two): City Think Space, ACG Architects and Development Planners
Clients: City of Cape Town and Khayelitsha community Trust

Khayelitsha is the largest and last township to be formally established in the Western Cape. Located at the heart of the Cape Flats and abutting Mitchel’s Plain, its narrative of dislocation, hope, and unequal access to resources, amenity and infrastructure positions the area as an exemplar of Apartheid informed informality. President Thabo Mbeki identified it as one of twenty national urban renewal nodes with a specific role to play in terms of social cohesion, upliftment and integration across the fractured cultural divide. The central business district was conceived to create a new urban room, an inspirational public realm for a devastated and desolate community lacking any resilient hierarchy of formalised ‘publicness.’


- click images to see larger version -

With competing voices of legitimacy, delivery of projects was hampered through indecision and lack of accountability between the state and social organisations. In a sense the informal landscape was mirrored by turbulent informal forces squabbling over the gaunt carcass of available resources. The noble intention of creating complementary CBD’s for each community (So called colored and Black African) has not been achieved despite the presence of catalytic interventions which anticipate and provoke the spontaneous creation of convivial environments through strategic urban design interventions. The informal condition in this instance could be described as a coded void or ‘hole,’ in the socio spatial geography of place.

Within this process, multi-purpose centers were identified as key urban markers for urban development, and encompass four components, a sports and recreation aspect, municipal offices and service point, heath and service clinic, and a library/arts and culture aspect. These later evolved into Thusong Service Centres.


- click images to see larger version -

As an outcome of a two year public participation process held by the City of Cape of Town to identify hierarchies of need for the community, the necessity for the sports component was identified as a priority and Makeka design Lab was commissioned to execute. The creation of a civic catalytic architecture in a context where the civic imperative is not a normative priority of the state presented challenges for officialdom, and the project seeks to relocate the discourse of architecture in informal conditions as part of a transformative act shaping township into town through bold design- architectural and urban. How does the needle stitch the (w)hole?

Continued on Panel 2.

MOKENA MOKEKA
MAKEKA DESIGN LAB

Urban Acupuncture - Khayelitsha (Panel 2)



- click images to see larger version -

URBAN ACUPUNCTURE

‘The Needle and the (W)Hole.’

Location: Khayelitsha Cape Town (2007)
Design Consultants (phase two): City Think Space, ACG Architects and Development Planners
Clients: City of Cape Town and Khayelitsha community Trust

The absence of any coherent and applicable urban design framework for the location of the buildings and its subsequent phases created the need to develop a self imposed conceptual urban design framework which would anchor the Architecture into a new public logic. Arising out of this commission, Makeka Design Lab was subsequently appointed by KCT to lead an interdisciplinary team to create an urban design framework which further addressed the imperatives of positive densification, alongside a mixed use urban identity with a renewed emphasis towards jobs creation, housing provision and an advanced understanding of sustainable human settlement.

The work identifies opportunities for sensitive infill, the exhibition reflects a participatory argument for presenting a vision for a community to aspire to. However patterns of institutional dysfunctional continue to constrain the process of becoming.

- click images to see larger version -

- click images to see larger version -

- click images to see larger version -

Back to Panel 1.

MOKENA MOKEKA / RIAAN STEENKAMP
MAKEKA DESIGN LAB