v e r v e
a music pavilion in the inner city of pretoria
sun_day 10am. By author. 2008. This page and previous; panoramic photograph taken on site, Strijdom Square depicting abandonment
Verve 01_a music pavilion in the city centre of Pretoria By
CHRISTO VAN DER WESTHUIZEN
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree
MAGISTER TECHNOLOGIAE: ARCHITECTURE (APPLIED DESIGN)
In the Department of Architecture
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING
TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Supervisor: Errol Pieters
Co-Supervisor: Prof G Steyn
I hereby declare that this dissertation submitted for the degree M Tech: Architecture (Applied Design), at Tshwane University of Technology, is my own original work and has not been submitted to any other institution. All quoted text, are indicated and acknowledged by means of a comprehensive list of references.
verve_01/ an urban music pavilion This thesis entails the re-activation and fibrillation of the heart of our city, Pretoria. The design of a broadcasting centre, music library and audio exhibition space in the inner city of Pretoria, which will stitch together the frayed seams of the inner city, and recharge the spirit of the place which belongs in city squares and meeting places, moya wa moleto, the dance halls of our cities.
development of museums
history of museums
space created by subtraction
space created by addition
_the hierarchy of exterior space
_planning exterior space
elements of exterior space
positive and negative space
piazza de campo, sienna
formation of exterior space
variations on a theme
_the berlin wall
an exclusive approach to music
the paradox of music
a joy through suffering
_the sex pistols
a language of music
_towards the sustainable city after 50 years of sprawl
_the car and the evolving american city
_sprawl versus utopia
substantial findings_ decentralization of american cities
south african cities today
the south african city as a functional-spatial system
historical development of pretoria
edge city_ design brief
verve_01/ an urban music pavilion
when night falls...
The Parade Ends
sm+h/ north carolina museum of art
nox/ h2o expo saltwaterpavilion_ neeltje jans _ the netherlands
oosterhuis. nl/ h2o expo saltwaterpavilion_ neeltje jans _ the netherlands
west 8/ schouwburgplein, or theater square_ rotterdam_ the netherlands
zaha hadid/ music and video pavilion_ groningen_ the netherlands
ideal height depth ratio
urban envelope as closed box
site observation and other preconfigurations
opportunities of the site
constraints of site
pretoria state theatre
corridor of spaces
volume of transport
rationalization of pretoria
monumental space and the uncanny
history of site
history of pretoria
_the square as urban theatre
_interior as an instrument
_strijdom square as â€˜kraalâ€™
_a city which celebrates the progressiveness of music
_a city more vibrant
_a city in a state of despair
music as catalyst
_urban base plan
2_walkway / rtamp and handrail
detail 1_facade construction
-4_exhibition and recording studios
-3_exhibition and soundscapes
and service yard,
-2_exhibition, link to arcade, cinema / auditorium
-1_museum entrance and shop
to absa tower and state theatre
0_strijdom square with alterations and additions
level 2_radio broadcasting
The Parade Ends Walking along streets that collapse from crumbling sewers
Past buildings you jump to avoid... in case they fall on you
Past grim faces that size you up and sentence you
Past closed shops, cinemas, closed parks, closed cafes,
Some of them showing dusty signs (justifications):
"CLOSED FOR RENOVATION"
"CLOSED FOR REPAIRS"
What repairs? When will these renovations be finished?
When at least will they begin?
Closed... closed... closed... everything closed
I arrive, open countless padlocks and run up the temporary stairs
There she is, waiting for me
I pull off the typewriter cover, and stare at her dusty, cold shape
I clean off the dust and caress her
With my hand, I brush clean her back, her base and her sides
I sit down in front of her, desperate and happy
I run my fingers over her keyboard and suddenly it all starts up
With a tinkling sound the music begins, then speeds up more and more
Walls, trees, streets, cathedrals, faces and beaches...
Cells, mini-cells, huge cells
Starry nights, bare feet, pines, clouds
Hundreds, thousands, a million parrots, stools, a climbing plant
The walls recede, the roof vanishes, and you float quite naturally
You float uprooted, dragged off, lifted high
You are transported, immortalized, saved, honored
Thanks to that subtle, continuous rhythm..
That music, that incessant tap-tap
Urban Music Pavilion
The aim of this thesis is to design an
This thesis is thus based on the
Why do people escape the hearts of
When dusk falls, the city sombrely
interactive music pavilion. It will act
design of a music pavilion, urban
their cities? There is a need to
returns to a dormant state awaiting
as a catalyst to the everlasting
theatre and music museum, situated
transform our urban environments
activation once again. It is then when
sprawl of our country's capitol,
in the cityâ€™s centre of Pretoria, on and
into more appropriate and useable
our city centre becomes the
constantly re-injecting energy in the
within the public space known as
spaces for we have become
foreground where crime flourishes.
heart of our city so that it may once
Strijdom Square. This 10 000 sqm is
suffering inhabitants. How a city
The city's inhabitants find refuge in
again flourish with activity.
one the most prominent open public
functions plays an important role on
the ever sprawling outskirts of our
spaces in our citie's center.
how we react to it. We are subjected
city. It is here where the energy lies,
Verve_01 is an extension of the
to violence and anxiety. Our social
separated within security villages
State Theatre and is therefore
instabilities that we face may be
that neighbours past oppressive
managed by its administrative staff
caused by the search for a true
systems and present government
and technicians .
identity and the impersonal confines
of our urban environments. There is a need to reactivate our city centre. At dawn, thousands of people infiltrate our city's core, activating it merely for a few hours.
The heart of our city, Pretoria, has
â€œOur ability to hear, not in several
Art can be a powerful and social
The evidence of abandonment is
This particular square is a dynamic
stopped beating. It is lying and
languages but in several musics
force, with the power to change
found throughout the city's core and
urban space and Verve 01 will be
waiting dormantly to be fibrillated so
attitudes, values, and ultimate
resides in the magnitude of empty
nestled in this synthetic piece of
that it may once again pulse with
Nietzsche, F. 2003. Time Magazine. August, Page
behavior. Landscaping and its
carcasses of city blocks, streets,
urban landscape that responds and
activity, day and night, weekday and
result works, plays an integral part
parks and other public spaces...
collaborate activities (i.e formats of
Sunday, spring, summer, fall and
of what people perceive and how
We have to reclaim our inner city
art and architecture) with the
winter. Evidently, the death of our
they react within each space. These
and dress its wounds so that it may
surrounding buildings and public
city or its reconstruction are the two
works will break through the
once again be a place where its
spaces that include the ABSA
alternatives that lie before us. How
traditional barriers and create
people can gather and live next to
Tower, Sammy Marks Square and
are we to achieve this? With the
inspirational systems within the
one another with no concerns
the State Theatre.
common language of music.
context in which they are placed.
regarding one's age, race, gender or background.
The urban music pavilion will be in
Architecture, music and art are not
The architectural iconography of the
vivid contrast to its surroundings.
necessarily easy to fit together as
structure will accommodate state of
The building will have various levels
they are subject to very different sets
the art technology. As a visitor
where each will act as a limb to a
of rules. Verve_01 will encourage
experience, Verve_01 must excite
body. Verve_01 will become the
rapid development through it's
curiosity and desire, like an
musical voice and the future venue
animated spirit. Strijdom Square will
unknown territory to be discovered
for the city's inhabitants which will
become a cultural hotspot, a catalyst
and explored. This thesis will thus
include a radio broadcasting station,
and trendsetter in terms of
explore the above mentioned to
recording studio, music archive,
architectural identity in the area.
create a better understanding within
Apple retail store, cinematography
these different sets of rules and
projection rooms, exhibitions
spaces and administration facilities. The pavilion will interpret music in the built form and adhere to the language and structure of music. Tectonically the building will reveal its structure and manifest itself within a multitude of materials which will be subjected to change and future development.
V _ 19
_towards the sustainable city after 50 years of sprawl
_the car and the evolving american city
_sprawl versus utopia
south african cities today
the south african city as a functional-spatial system
edge city_ design brief
historical development of pretoria
substantial findings_ decentralization of american cities
Pretoria, and itâ€™s
First there was a centre. It had an edge. It grew until much later there was a â€œdowntownâ€? Then there were suburbs. Then there were shopping malls. Then there were office parks. Always, it seems here, there were townships - beyond the edge. Now there is Edge City. There is a dire need to re-activate our city centre. It is imperative to this dissertation to understand why the city's people abandon her, and what initiated and inspired decentralization. Yet, this is not only a commonality in most of our South African cities, but also takes place among some of the 'great cities' in the United States and Europe, and through substantial findings which depict current and future scenarios expresses the need for an immediate implementation of energy in the city centre of Pretoria.
. Millions live, work, play and commute in the Edge. It is constantly in flux, mixed up and energetic. It defines the urban regions that have replaced cities, uncomfortably separated from the nucleus and from each other - the new urban frontier.
Edge City is a fraction of a lifetime in a process of constantly becoming. It is a psychological location, a state of mind, as well as a physical place. It is a human saga beyond the awareness of architecture and landscape. Edge City is about raw and shifting socio-cultural edges where you are elusive and survival means just about anything. It is ugly.
In South Africa our edges are particularly harsh, disjointed and segregated. Large parts of our urban edges are populated by people who are new urban immigrants and the poverty of the sprawling township and the informal camp are burnt into the consciousness of the City. Most segre-gated. Mixed media
disturbingly there is nothing to encourage communities to take root and grow. Edge City is a
on cartridge. 2008. By
wilderness without a heart where the human spirit is diminished and existence is often brutal,
A City is most urban when it offers choice, when the public places are full of invitations, when social and community structures flourish and when belonging is reality. A City is most beautiful when it solidifies enough to hold memories, when unstable becomes durable, when diversity replaces monotony and when it offers places to meet, places where we can celebrate our humaneness with opportunities to share. Ancient Greece had the Agora and the Stoa, Rome had the Forum and the Baths, and both Cities the amphitheatre; modern Italy has the Campo, the Street and the Opera; England its Clubs, the Village Green and the ‘Local’; Paris has it’s Cafés; Munich its Beer Gardens; and in countries like Morocco and India there is the Market Place. It seems the whole world has made places in its cities that are common to all, places to meet and share, formally and informally. In South Africa however, the religious attend Church or Mosque or Temple or Synagogue; the wealthy go to restaurants and the theatre, the poor to shebeens and the battleground of the street or, except on Saturdays, when the men gather in the new colosseums - everyone stays at home. South African Cities need Meeting Places, places that connect people and communities, places that can stitch together dislocated and discordant edges and heal our fractured cities (Baker, 2003). Historical development of Pretoria M-H H M
The historical development of Pretoria went through distinct phases in terms of place making. Each
phase has its own identity and spirit of time. In the identification of these stages, it becomes clear
that each phase encompassed certain place responses or peacemaking forces. Although these
phases are not watertight compartments, they do however inform us about the constants and
changes in Pretoria.
The South African city as a functional-spatial system
The broader South African community was and still is to some great extent influenced by a dualistic social structure as well as the political decision making process. According to Davies (1981) the CBD frame
white residential areas
Indian/ Coloured residential areas
South African city "... has been underpinned by a national political - an economy that has generated processes strongly conducive to the formation of institutionalized dominance - dependency
relationships and a class-like system of social organization" . This was a determining factor in the spatial structure of the South African City and the way it functions. A particular spatial planning
ECONOMIC STATUS H-high M-medium L-low
strategy was formulated, which not only resulted in racial separation, but also the restructuring of the city form. In broad terms, the South African city can be compared with the Western Capitalist city structure. The most important characteristics are: Iand-use and ground value which operate on competitvely Iand-use with a zoning system which separates working and living areas, a strongly defined city centre with retail decentralization, organized industrial areas and other city activities which form the economic and labour distribution pattern, dominant private land ownership and high frequency of private motorcar use (Van der Merwe, 1983).
Within the historical development of the South African urbanization process, the following basic functional spatial city structures can be identified. Davies (1987) identified the ‘segregation city’ which prevailed until 194I and the Apartheid City which prevailed till 1960. Olivier et aI (1985) white CBD CBD frame
white residential areas industrial
black residential formal informal
identified the ‘separated city’ which developed after 1960 up to the present (Jordaan, 1987).
Segregation refers to the intended division which occurs when a specific group of people with the same characteristics and value systems are forced together in residential areas within the city (Olivier, Hattingh, 1958). Due to the socio-ethnic diversity of a post white urban community and the complex racial heterogeneity, a distinct increase in black urbanization took place after 1921 (Smith, Booysen, 1981). The fact that there was no overall racial / flexible policy towards the establishment of residential areas up to1948, meant that the segregation city established itself in
In 1948 the National Party came into power: a new change in government strategies was implemented which led to the Apartheid City. These new governance strategies included stricter enforcement of previous administration laws as well as the implementation of principles and laws
H buffer zone
regarding the control of ‘Non-European’ people. These laws included the ‘Group Areas Act’ (1950),
‘Population Registration Act’ (1950) and the ‘Bantu Self-Government Act’ (1959). These acts L
propagated the development of decentralized separate group areas for people with different race L
classifications which led to mass removals from within the city where townships were established.
South African Inner Cities today
“Our cities are of the most ungainly in the world. Perhaps with the exception of Cape Town, our citiy centres have become trading enclaves to a virtually exclusive African clientele, exacerbated by the
Indian/ Coloured areas
industrial ECONOMIC STATUS H-high M-medium L-low
flights to suburbia, following the 1994 elections. Despite the commitment to viable urban renewal strategies with exciting multi-cultural prospects, especially in Durban and Johannesburg, the inner cities of Bloemfontein and Pretoria lag far behind in any visible form of rejuvenation. Even though one could argue that as an intrinsic rural people we do not have an urban culture like many other parts of the world, our public spaces are virtually non-existent or in a sad state of despair. Unkempt landscaping, barbered wire, devil-forked and palisade fences, coupled with banal advertising boards, are the most distinctive features of these user-unfriendly environments.
If limited public money is the inhibiting factor in upgrading or sustaining our urban centres and public spaces, one cannot help but stand in awe of (if not at the quality of the architecture of) the unprecedented development in the decentralized areas of our cities.
A number of trends dominate, very much across the country. One pertains to business enterprises that deliberately shy away from previously designated commercial areas by moving into well-established residential enclaves, converting everything into anything. These range from clothing stores, veterinary clinics, motor repair shops, to butcheries, even mortuaries. These manifestations not only make a mockery of the sound modernist principle of utilitarian response to programmes, but raise doubts as to whether we can still design anything remotely extending beyond a domestic scale and beyond a residential appearance, never mind creating a coherent sense of public space” (Joubert, 2005).
Substantial findings_Decentralization of American Cities
Why do some cities and their neighbourhoods generate abandonment, chaos, breakdown at the same time as they display resilience, experiment, innovation, excitement? Cities have the brightest lights and the darkest corners, feeding the hopes and fuelling the fears of millions. Abandonment signals the loss of value and use of an area. It attracts vandalism, boarding up and neglect of conditions. It often leads to arson, crime and refuse dumping. It lowers standards more generally and creates fear. The starkest measure of an area’s decline is visible empty property
the vicious circle
(Power, 1987, 1997; Downes, 1989).
Sprawl versus Utopia
During the late 1950s and 1960s American architects and planners were stimulated with toxic factors to create new images of American cities. These factors include urban sprawl, the disappearance of America’s natural and bio sensitive environments and its degradation due to poor development practices and the seemingly unsolvable problems of their inner cities. At the
“the masked builder strikes again” cartoon by Vergil Patch from Gruen’s Heart of Our Cities
same time, Western Europe was only starting to be subjected to urban sprawl. The impetus for new city models was due to the failure of late modernism that furnished images, spaces and forms with which the people of their cities could not identify. The pace and extension of suburban expansion
meant that the real estate industry, private development, and municipality authorities, who were bound to provide roads and utilities, were barely able to keep up with the growth. Little did anyone consider what the consequences of rapid and dispersed growth would be for the future of the city and region. The problem was not growth itself, but the inability of metropolitan areas to cope with the rising population in any other form of sprawl.
‘Cityscape - Landscape’ refers to the diverse and dispersed urban fabric that was stretching beyond the city into the metropolitan region, often tightly woven over certain parts and loosely over other areas. Similar to a landscape being an environment (of which there are many varieties) there are many types of cityscapes which include traditional buildings, blocks, avenues and squares. But, unfortunately, many other new ‘scapes’ were becoming more prevalent; these are defined as ‘technoscape - the detritus of technology,’ consisting of vehicle graveyards and abandoned industrial sectors, ‘transportationscape - open urban space entirely dedicated as parking lots’ and ‘suburbscape - the parade ground of the mass housing industry’. All of the above mentioned combined makes up a ‘sub-cityscape’. Its quintessence is the commercial strip which ‘clings like The suburban labyrinth, or “Enforced mobility.” The suburbanite condemned to unlimited automobile trips merely because of separated-use development.
leeches to all roads’. The agent of sub-cityscape is none other than the privately owned vehicles which are misused as mass transport. Because of sub-cityscape, city planning becomes obsolete before it even has the chance to become effective and thus will have to be replaced by a new regional planning system (Cityscape Landscape, 1955).
A corollary of sprawl that would prompt new thinking about development was the increasing effect it was having upon America’s natural environment, with almost immediate consequences for the air, water and landscape. America's natural amenities became threatened as more people moved away from the city and into their suburban havens. It was not long before middle-class Americans discovered that the suburbs exhibited their own problems; the deteriorating physical and social conditions in the inner cities and older industrial areas precipitated an urban environmental consciousness at the highest political level. In his ‘Great Society’ speech, President Lyndon Johnson made a plea for the city, issues of sustainability, and civic vision. The Great Society would be “a place where the city of Man serves not only the needs of the human body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community…It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goods”. Instead of having cities with rooted citizens, we will have urban sprawl with drifting nomadic inhabitants. Instead of the city with transportation media to permit its citizens to reach their destinations, we will have urban spread containing only traffic with which inhabitants must battle. Instead of urbia with its points of attractions, we will have an anti-city with its areas of distractions. As a nation we have become wealthier, and because this wealth has spread from the thousands to the millions, we have as a nation, attained many characteristics of the nouveau riche. One of these characteristics is an economic concentration of the rising of private living standards. The result of a neglect of the public environment drives us even further towards efforts to improve our own and immediate personal surroundings (Gruen, 1964).
The Car and the evolving American City
Gruen recognized the clash between vehicles and the city early on; the need to contain vehicles set the tone for everything he did, and his main objective was to exploit it intelligently. “The task is not to indulge in idle fantasies about abandoning cities with automobiles, but to try and find, through planning and design a modus vivendi for their coexistence” (Escape from the Automobile, 18). The sprawling developments along city roads and highways are the result of short-range economic thinking, political accommodation and a lack of regional planning (Gruen, 1964).
In 1956, a new Highway Act could have provided that opportunity, but the design and planning professionals did not recognize it as such. City politicians saw the act as a chance to relieve traffic congestion and increase mobility and access by means of urban highways. As soon as American’s
mayors successfully secured highways for miles to their cities, the action affected the American city scape and landscape in ways its supporters had never anticipated. Instead of facilitating movement, most new highways became overloaded with traffic.
Instead of linking neighbourhoods, urban highways isolated and even obliterated them. The intersections of belt-ways with highways radiated outwards from the city centres that would become prime locations, firstly for shopping centres and later Edge Cities which became regional sub-centers. The effect of the Highway Act, as its planners had intended, was to disperse factories, stores and people and to create a revolution in living habits. “The main tool we have had - the freeway system - we have thrown away…this system could have been designed in a way that would have stressed and supplied clusters of dense activity…by surrounding them and then connecting them with the downtown area. But, in designing the system, no thought was given to the city planning approach. It was purely engineering…the shortest route between two given points” (Gruen, 1964).
Towards the Sustainable City after 50 Years of Sprawl
It is more than 50 years since the American Housing Act made bank loans available for first-time home buyers and therefore helped to produce the suburban landscape. The Bank of America concluded in 1995 that: “The acceleration of sprawl has suffered enormous social, environmental and economic costs, which until now have been hidden, ignored or quietly borne by society... We .
can no longer afford the luxury of urban sprawl.”
These successive waves of dispersed growth of investments and disinvestment as a process of development can no longer be described as ‘suburbanization’ nor is it any longer merely ‘sprawl’. The overlapping of suburbs from adjacent towns and cities is an urbanization process that cannot be simply corrected by the planning and urban-design tools developed in the 20th century city. Driven by the search for spatial and economic advantage, the thousands of intersecting investment decisions have resulted in a form of self organizing landscape that waxes and wanes according to market demands; it cannot effectively engage by fixing spatial and functional design codes. In this new city scape and landscape, as highway, road, and rail infrastructure are added, previously peripheral areas become central, and a regional network comes into being that changes the status of older centres. Supporters of New Urbanism and smart growth - on both sides of the Atlantic - are determined to ‘correct’ this form of development and the desires and practices that support it. Although the number of New Urbanists and smart-growth projects are increasing, more people today live, work, shop, and play outside of or between established centres, which they have .
chosen to do (Johnson, 1968:9).
The urban landscape of the future and its urban planning do not need a single mechanism for the balancing the needs of pedestrians and vehicles, but should adhere to a series of measures, from inter-model transportation interchanges at the edges of urban centres, to smaller scale interventions in residential areas. Gruen's concept of use classification for streets could also play an important role: highway, boulevard, street and exurban roads have to be reinvented and reequipped. One needs to understand traffic as a function in itself, with degrees of complexity, scale and speed (Wall, 2005).
Music, a complex
_the berlin wall
an exclusive approach to music
the paradox of music
a joy through suffering
_the sex pistols
a language of music
Music, its emotional, creative and spiritual aspects acts as the major generator for place, space, and form in this thesis. Music has no known boundary or restriction and anyone who
can hear or feel a vibration can experience music. Music embodies a multitude of aspects and initiates a hybrid of happenings since the beginning of time. It is essential to communicate music's diversity, interpretations and influences it has on humanity. Music is extremely dense and this chapter conveys only a few of a plethora of theories.
On the 31st of August 1997, the finals of the Mercury Music Prize were televised and nominations included Suede, Mark Anthony Turnage, The Chemical Brothers, and John Denver. One might ask what is so remarkable about this: had this scene played off prior to this date, it would have been very unusual for 'classical' composers like Turnage and Tavener to appear on the same stage as pop groups like Suede and the Chemical Brothers, not to mention that they would be judged against one another... A week later, Travener's 'Song for Athene' featured alongside Sir Elton John's rendition of “Candle in the Wind” at Princess Diana's funeral. The following month Sir Paul McCartney's choral composition Standing Stone received its premiere in London's Royal Albert Hall. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, doctoral students where already writing dissertations on the work of Frank Zappa, which ranged from acid-rock to classical concert music. May Day III. By Andrew
Everywhere the barriers that once kept different styles and traditions of music firmly apart where
Gursky. C-print. 1998.
crumbling (Cook, 1998).
The spectacles of the rave and disco evident of transformative powers of
It is an obvious fact that the world is teeming with different kinds of music; jazz, rock, pop, world, to name a few. Although this has always been the case, but modern communications and sound
the dance floor are derived
reproduction technology have rendered musical pluralism a part of everyday life. And yet the ways
in part of reference to sight
we think about music do not reflect this. Each type of music comes with its own way of thinking
and sound. The image presents a teeming mass at an open-air event,
about music, as if it were the only way of thinking about music (and the only music to think about). All music's needs to be put on the map or rather spread out a map that all music could in principle
bathed in golden light. The
be put on to, if only there were enough space for it. Music is not as simple as ABC and this insert
architecture of the disco
does not provide a plotted summary of the so-called rudiments that includes staves, clefs, scales,
consists of a composition of projected beams of light
chords and the well known rest. The reason why it cannot be a so called ABC of music is that it will
that change in response to
not be an ABC but an ABΓ, not to mention A B C. If one can sensibly talk about music having an
the rhythm of the music
alphabet at all, then every music possesses its own alphabet...
Every music is different, but every music is music, too. There is a level at which one can speak of 'music', but not at the ABC level. To talk about music in general is to talk about what music means and more basically, how it is that music operates as an agent of meaning. For music is not just something nice to listen to. On the contrary, it is deeply embedded in human culture (just as there isn't a culture that doesn't have a language, so there isn't one that doesn't have music). Music seems somehow to be natural, to exist as something apart and yet it is suffused with human values, with our sense of what is good and what is bad, right or wrong. Music does not just happen; it is what we make of it. People think through music, decide who they are through it, express .
themselves through it (Cook, 1998).
Because music and its associations vary substantially from place to place, it functions as a symbol of national or regional identity; émigré communities sometimes cling tenaciously to their traditional music in order to preserve their identity in a foreign country. But national identity is by no means the only kind of identity that music helps to construct. Music in the shape of rhythm 'n' blues Stopping Time in its Tracks
A scene from the apocryphal English girl's school, St Trinian's, turns on the curious presence that music has in our lives and our thoughts. It is there, and yet it isn't. Or more precisely, signs of it are everywhere present in
and rock 'n' roll, played a central role in the creation of the youth culture of the 1960s, the so called 'youthquake', when for the first time European and American teenagers began to adopt a lifestyle and a system of values consciously opposed to that of their parents. Music created a bond of solidarity between the members of the 'youth generation', as they called themselves, and at the
scores, books, instruments; yet they aren't the
same time excluded older generations. The same thing happens nowadays, only at a more subtle
music. You cannot point to the music, or grasp
level; the rapid turnover of popular music styles means that only those who listen to the music
hold of it, because as soon as it comes into being it has already disappeared, swallowed up in silence, leaving no trace. Only at St Trinian's do you get to sweep up the debris. Cartoon by Ronald Searly
stations or read the magazines know who's in and who's out, and the effect is to create a gulf between those who belong and those who don't. Nowadays, it isn't just a question of the 'youth generations' versus the rest; today's urban, Western or Westernized society has fragmented into any number of distinct, if overlapping, subcultures, each with a musical identity of its own. In today's world, deciding what music to listen to is a significant part of deciding and announcing to people not just who you 'want to be' but who you are (Cook, 1998).
Music is a very small word to encompass something that takes as many forms as there are cultural or sub-cultural identities. And like all small words, it brings a danger with it. When we speak of 'music', we are easily lead to believe that there is ‘something’ that corresponds to that word; something 'out there', so to speak just waiting for us to give it a name. But when we speak of music we are really talking about a multiplicity of activities and experiences; it is only the fact that we all call them 'music' that makes it seem obvious that they belong together. There are cultures which don't have a word
for 'music' in the way that English does, so are there different 'musics'
associated with different musical instruments, or so it is not distinguished from what we would call dance or theatre. Moreover, there is a clear hierarchy in that we regard some of the experiences and activities as more 'musical' than others (Cook, 1998).
Joy Through Suffering
As early as the nineteenth century, the musical capitals of northern Europe (in particular London, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna) were known as the capitalist model of production, distribution and consumption. Across Europe it was a time of urbanization, with a large proportion of the population migrating from the countryside in search of industrial employment, while within the cities the middle classes occupied a steadily increasing economic, political and cultural role. In arts which refer to primarily literature, painting and music.
The most important development of the period was what might be termed the construction of bourgeois subjectivity. The people of the cities explored and celebrated the inner world of feeling and emotion; music, in particular, turned away from the world and became dedicated to personal expression. It has the ability to present feeling and emotion directly. Without the intervention of words or depicted objects, music came to occupy a privileged role with Romanticism, known as the
The fashion industry is known to be strongly influenced by music, and can be traced back as early as the baroque period. Fashion acts as a non-verbal communication, a personal flag, our armour, our silent opinion and fluxing second skin. Fashion and music eye each other like shy teenagers, each being very envious of the another. Like music, fabric sometimes lingers and sometimes clings to our bodies, subtly exaggerating rhythm and fluidity by its wearers.
The body, and how music and fashion interact with one
another serves as an architectural framework. Its symmetry, balance and sense of space are equivalent to the inspirations and expressions it will undergo. the most prominent site where fashion is influenced through music, and where it captivated and inspired the imaginations of millions can be none other than the 'Punk' era (which originated between 1974 and 1976 in the USA
and UK). Punk: a form of rock characterized by aggressive volume, short, angry vocals and often bitter political or hopeless emotional content which reflects an attitude of rebellion against tradition (Hebdige, 1979).
The Punk style began to gain notoriety when its leaders, the 1
Sex Pistols, started wearing clothes designed by Vivian 2
Westwood. The original punk fashions were intended to appear as confrontational, shocking and rebellious as possible. Items in early punk fashion included: Anarchy symbols; brightly-coloured or white and black dress shirts randomly covered in slogans (such as "Only Anarchists are pretty"); fake blood; patches; and
deliberately controversial images (such as portraits of Marx, Stalin and Mussolini) were popular. The style included random objects such as safety pins, razorblades, bicycle or lavatory chains which were fixed to clothing. Spiked dog collars were worn as jewelry and punks were patrons of outrageous coloured 3
hairstyles such as the 'Mohican' style while extensive use of black eyeliner by both genders. Vivian Westwood revolutionized 3
the music and fashion scene with her iconic designs and the impact is still felt today (Gorman, 2006). Punk transcends its original cultural boundary - European - and is today a noticeable genre [lifestyle] and fashion globally (fig.4: Chinese Punk Rockers).
Opposite page: Stichting Luce. Performance
new mood across the arts (Cook, 1998).
of Scriabin’s Prométhéé, Le poéme du feu
The Paradox of Music
(1908-10), c. 1997 By Håkon Austbø.
“Visual Music” traces the history of a
Avant-garde composer, György Ligeti composed an orchestral piece called San Francisco
revolutionary idea: that fine art should attain
Polyphony (1973) and like many compositions of Ligeti, it was a densely written piece, a jungle of
the nonrepresentational aspects of music. The
sinuous and creeper-like melodic lines. Ligeti metaphorically explained the piece as if:”one can
first exhibition of its kind, “Visual Music” charts the influences of synaesthesia (blending of the
imagine various objects in state of total disarray in a drawer. The drawer too has a definite form.
senses) and music analogies on the
Inside it chaos reigns, but it has clearly defined itself”. Ligeti used this metaphor to explain how he
development of visual art from the early 20th
tried to contain the sometimes impenetrable note-to-note patterning of the music with its orderly
century to the present. Over the past one
bounds. It captures certain salient aspects of the music, while saying nothing about other
hundred years, some of the most adventurous modern and contemporary artists have
compositions; for this reason there are most certainly other pieces of music to which it might apply
experimented with a wide array of novel
as well, and equally there are other metaphors that might apply just as well to San Francisco
techniques to invent kinetic-............................
Polyphony. If the music strikes the listener as just an impenetrable tangle of sound, then it is
nonrepresentational art akin to pure instrumental music. Music has inspired some
suggested that with Ligeti's drawer image in mind may provide a way into it. Or to use an alternative
of the most progressive art of our time such as
metaphor, once you know the extent of the forest, you may find it easier to discern faint paths
abstract paintings by Wassily Kandinsky and
through the undergrowth (Cook, 1998).
František Kupa. The impulse to emulate musical forms in the visual arts has transcended the limits of traditional media and has inspired the multi-dimmension, multimedia, and performance art so common today. Technological innovations, from electric illumination and film to video and digital
We don't usually think of music in the form of drawers and forests and so these metaphors stand out as imaginative representations that, at best, in some way can add to or empower our experience of the music. But all descriptions of music involve metaphor. One of the most basic things you might want to say is that one note is higher and lower than another. But that doesn't mean that high notes literally come from the sky and the low ones from abysmal subterranean depths. It is
recording, have fuelled the experimentation
just a metaphor; somehow high notes are more compact, brighter, lighter, higher…and of course in
with musical analogy and synaesthesia in the
staff notation they appear higher on the page.
visual arts (Mattis, 2005).
Then again you might talk about the texture of music. Texture? Bark, moss, velvet, sacking: these things have texture, but how can music have texture if one cannot touch it? And how would one refer to a 'piece' of music? Does one tear strips off a music roll, like cloth, or chip them off a block? A block of what (Cook, 1998)?
Biologist Richard Dawkins suggests a metaphor that of a 'river of genes', that when we think of human history, and the prehistoric development of our species, as made up by a vast succession of individual people; as they have bred and interbred, so genes have passed between them, flowing from one generation to another and determine the ethnic, physical, and mental make-up of the human race today. But Dawkins turns this theory upside down. He makes the genes the protagonists of the story, the true creators of history, with their only motive being one of replication. Humans are reduced to temporary constellations of genes; mere eddies in the river of life. And perhaps we should see the contents of our diverse musical 'museum' the same way. For music history has traditionally been presented rather in the manner of a series of stepping-stones, a journey from one masterwork to another, leading from the remote past to the present and the beyond. Or to use a more appropriate metaphor, perhaps, it is presented as a kind of museum tour, in which one pauses to admire each imaginary object before moving onto the next (Cook, 1998). According to Dawkin's model, the historical process would reside not in musical works - the stepping-stones - but what lies between them: the continuously changing patterns of conception and perception which brought those works into being. We would see musical works as being the mere traces of historical processes, empty shells into which life can be breathed only through an imaginative reconstruction of the musical experiences that once gave them meaning. The imagination that is involved in this is our own; one might almost say that one would see the history of music, in essence, as an account of our own journey through the imaginary museums of musical works. Again, then, we come back to the idea that when we study music, we aren't just studying something separate from us, something 'out there': there is a sense that we are studying ourselves, too.
Opposite page: Kandinsky / Mikey Collage, by Oskar Fischinger, c. 1940. Collage on paper.
Fantasia was released in 1940 to
relatively poor box-office attendance, but over the years and through repeated releases it has taken its place as a classical film and the best known example of Visual Music. Fantasia opened the doors to European artists and experimental film-makers and its avant-gard willingness to participate in such a Hollywood production marks a pivotal moment in the history of visual music, if not in modernism 5
itself (Mattis, 2005).
1_Fuga (Fugue) by Wassily Kandinsky. Oil on canvas, 1914.
2_New Harmony by Paul Klee. Oil on canvas, 1963.
3_Painterly-Musical Construction by........... 9
Mikhail Matiushin. Acrylic on canvas, 1918. 4_Chinese Music by Arthur Dove. Oil on canvas, 1923.
5_Irregular Forms, Creation by František Kupa. Oil on canvas, 1911.
6_Music - Pink and Blue II by Georgia O’Keeffe. Oil on canvas, 1919.
7_The Light That Never Was on Land or Sea by Francis Bruguière. Gelatin-silver print, c.1926. 10 6
8_Design in Abstract Forms of Light
Francis Bruguière. Gelatin-silver print, c.1930. 9_Disks of Newtown (Study for “Fugue in Two Colours”) by František Kupa. Oil on canvas, 1912.
10_Swing Music (Louis Armstrong) by Arthur Dove. Oil on canvas, 1938.
11_The Joshua Light Show with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, The Mineola Theater, Long Island, New York, 20 11
December 1967. 12_Detail of Liquid Landscape
Martin. Two overhead projectors, 1965.
13_Detail of Study in Depth, Opus 152 by Thomas Wilfred. Double lens projector, 1959.
An Inclusive Approach to Music
The actual content of music, the disposition of the notes on a page, not only reflects but also contributes to the nature of society, the way in which people relate to one another. This can be seen in the way members of a rock band relate to one another, and to the audience, when they perform. A particularly telling example, because of it's political significance, is 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika, the national anthem of the new South Africa. For years it was sung as an act of defiance against the apartheid regime and now, with the end of apartheid, it resonates with hopes and aspirations, and fears, of the new South Africans and their sympathizers across the world.
In part this is a matter of straightforward association: 'Nkosi Sikele' iAfrika makes us think of South Africa. But only in part, for 'Nkosi Sikele' iAfrika also has a meaning that emerges from the act of performing it. Like all choral performance, from singing a hymn to chanting at a football match, it involves communal participation and interaction. Everybody has to listen to everyone else and move forward together. It does not merely symbolize unity, it enacts it. And there is more. Through its block-like harmonic construction and regular phrasing, 'Nkosi Sikele' iAfrika creates a sense of stability and mutual dependence, with no vocal part predominating over the others.
Again it lies audibly at the interface between European traditions of 'common practice' harmony and African traditions of communal singing, which gives it an inclusive quality entirely appropriate to the aspirations of the new South Africa. In all these ways 'Nkosi Sikele' iAfrika goes far beyond merely representing the new South Africa. Enlisting music's ability to shape personal identity, 'Nkosi Sikele' iAfrika actively contributes to the construction of the community which is the new South Africa. In a sense, singing it is a political act (Cook, 1998).
Pink Floyd performed the last of their ‘The Wall’ concerts in the early 1980s. In an interview with Roger Waters lead member of Pink Floyd, he was asked if he would ever perform ‘The Wall’ again. He replied: “never” and jokingly added, “Unless of course the Berlin Wall comes down or something like that”. Little did he know that in less than ten years the Berlin Wall would be no more. Leonard Chesire, a war activist, decided to create a living memorial to all people who lost their lives in war during the last 100 years. On the 1st of September 1989 also the 50th anniversary of the commencement of the WWII, the charity fund was established and a concert was to be staged. The concert
was in dire need of a venue. On the 9th of November 1989 it became apparent that the Berlin Wall with its historical bastion of division and fear for over a quarter of a century was falling. These occurrences in Western Europe helped the organizers to make up their minds, and the rightness of this went unquestioned. Berlin was surely the best place to bring to stage this amazing concert. When the Berlin wall was demolished, it was decided to 2
stage the revival in Berlin's Potzdamer Platz, the no man’s land on the East Berlin Side of the wall (Waters, unknown).
Two hundred and fifty thousand tickets were sold for the charity fund. It was estimated that between 300 000 to half a 3
million people attended the concert after the gates were eventually opened and it became a free concert. The press announced that it was the biggest concert in the history of Rock. On the 21st of June, Berlin became an instant Mecca for fans of
Rock. The show was a tremendous success, a multimedia extravaganza4 of the proportions never seen before in history. This historic event was of such monumental proportions it is and will be remembered as one of the most spectacular concerts in musical history, and also as a historic celebration of the fall of The Berlin Wall (Waters, unknown).
Roger Wasters said in an interview that: “if this concert is to celebrate anything, it is that the Berlin Wall coming down can be seen as a liberating of the human spirit”. 1
MEXICO CITY_Zocalo Right_Parade (Nazis) through the Königsplatz to celebrate the “Day of German Art” in
PIENZA_ Piazza Pio II
NEW YORK_ Rockefeller Plaza
The Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires, as shown in this campaign poster as a rallying point for Peronistas. During
A million Chines citizens in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. May 1989, demanding
VENICE_Piazza San Marco
democratic rights and defying
the government threats of a
ROME_The Forum COPENHAGEN_ Amalienborg
South Africa_Strjidom Square
Twelve City Squares 0
South Africa_Sammy Marks Square
The history and shaping of
space created by subtraction
space created by addition
_the hierarchy of exterior space
_planning exterior space
elements of exterior space
positive and negative space
piazza de campo, sienna
formation of exterior space
variations on a theme
T he rooms of a city play an integral part in how a city functions. It must act as a nucleus that The
crystallizes existing, larger patterns which already exist in a city. It must be a heaven which embraces each city dweller, and be the foreground where people can hang out,
comfortably, for hours at a time. Pretoria lacks such a defined outdoor city room and its people have no place to congregate. What defines a successful city square? What type of square will enrich the heart of our city? The following studies and examples express the intentions and motivation of what one should expect of our city squares.
A good place to start is to chronicle their historical evolution, where they acted as medieval/
colonial markets, princely showcases, parade grounds, residential enclaves, symbols of worldly glories and pedestrian precincts. During WW1 and its aftermath, our squares were the stages for revolution. In Beijing, Warsaw and Bucharest, Leipzig, Prague, Sofia and South Africa, their people lost their fear and the dictators lost control. It is on these public spaces where the battle for democracy was fought, whether they lost or won.
. Squares resemble a family likeness, but as in every human family, the member each possesses
Above_1: The Piaza della
their own distinctive shape and personality. That is what makes them so rewarding to experience:
Signoria (mid-18th century)
each one on their own and yet so very complicated to create. Vintage squares remind us with a
showing the fountain and statue which created an
lingering nostalgia of an era when good design was instinctive and when our cities were vibrant and
illusion of regularity in the
alive. We cannot bring back the past, but we can most certainly learn from it. An older square that is
medieval L-plan square.
an organic part of its community usually serves present needs better than a new space ordained by
2: Anonymous print of the
a planner or developer. Cities should ideally learn to preserve, improve and adapt the squares they
Piazza Navona, c. 1630. It occupies the site of an ancient
have, rather than to open up even more. The fact remains that people have always enjoyed coming
Roman stadium, which was
together in large numbers of groups, and this survey that celebrates the different ways in which that
built up in the late 15th
impulse can be fulfilled (Webb, 1990).
century and used as a market.
Throughout Europe and the Americas, labels are applied with cheerful abandon. Every rent in
3: Nine narrow streets feeding into Piazza Navona without
the urban fabric, from a traffic intersection to a park, can be called a square or a platz, piazza or
disturbing the sense of
plaza, praca or place. But, just as the original theme remains discernible in the most complex of
enclosure. As late as the 19th
fugues so can the essence of a square be defined through all its mutations. Public access and
century the piazza was transformed into a shallow
activity distinguish it from college quadrangles, palace courtyards and religious cloisters. Often the
lake on summer weekends for
test is more subjective than scientific. Stand in a public space, walk about, and sit at its edges.
carriage parades and water
Does the space itself have a presence, a definition, a quality that adds significantly to the
architecture and the features it embraces? And if you decide, yes it is a square, does it work well? Does it take your breath away as you enter, and lift your spirits as you stroll around? Is it a place in which you want to meet your friends and observe strangers? Is it the first choice for community celebrations? Does it offer a sense of place, a feeling of historical continuity? A vision of what urban life should be? Is it maintained with respect or vandalized; does it serve as an oasis or for parking? Ask another question: “if not, why not?” Actors and decor have changed over the centuries, but the need for a stage has remained constant (Webb, 1990).
Robert Browning expressed the ideal when he wrote: “Oh, a day in the city square, there is no such pleasure in life!” Some of the world’s best known squares each possesses their distinct characters and rhythms, and they change so subtly with the seasons and time of day. Sometimes these characteristics may be finely plotted as with the shadow of the Mangia tower. Its shadow gently sweeps around Siena's Campo like the gnomon of a sundial and marks the shifting tempo of everyday life, and heralds, twice a year, the tumultuous spectacle of the Palio. For six centuries, whenever the sun has shone, this shadow has performed the same daily sweep (Webb, 1990). Formation of exterior space
Space is formed by the relationship between an object and a human being who perceives it. This relationship is primarily determined by sight, but when architectural space is considered, the relationship can be affected by olfaction, audition, as well as tactility. It often happens that the same space gives entirely different impressions according to the way rain, wind and sunshine effects it. In our daily life space is often created in an unintended way. For example, when a crowd gathers around a speaker in the open air, a space filled with tension develops around the speaker; when the speaker ends his speech and the crowd disperses, such space ceases to exist. What is exterior nature by a frame, and it is not nature itself, which extends infinitely. It is a man-made exterior
parade in period costume horse race, a short and violent contest among the
exterior space develops within itself a centripetal order; positive space, brimming with human
city’s neighbourhoods. In
intentions and functions, is created inside a frame. Architectural space is delimited by three planes;
the past the Campo has
use of only two dimensions, one element fewer than in the creation of interior architectural space. This renders the floor and wall planes all the more important determinants of this type of design (Ashihara, 1970).
Piazza del Campo, Siena
Centering on the Palazzo Pubblico, this piazza was developed over a period of two centuries, Above_the square as resort
beginning around the late eleventh century; the nine prominent sectors only to be paved later on.
for young and old; elderly
The whole plaza is designed to suit any kind of gathering or festivity. The buildings surrounding the plaza vary in height and in the layout of their windows, but ‘unity through diversity’ has been
Borda, Taxco, Mexico.
achieved. The piazza still functions as an urban core because of its splendid exterior space. The
Children playing in the
medieval Italian city constitutes centripetal space surrounded by walls, and the whole city is like
Campo Santa Maria
one house, with the plaza serving as a kind of living room for the city as a whole (Ashihara, 1970). .
Formosa, Venice. Puppet Jardin de la Union, Mexico.
which is followed by a
space, therefore, refers to the technique of creating such exterior space. Surrounded by its frame,
must be delimited by only two planes - a floor and a wall; in other words, it is space created by the
theater in Guanayato’s
each summer it is pressed into service for the Palio, a
a floor, a wall, and a ceiling. Exterior space, regarded as ‘architecture without a roof’, however,
pass in the Plaza de la
the year. But for two days
space? First of all, it is space created by delaminating nature. Exterior space is separated from environment with a purpose; it is a meaningful space as well as a part of nature. Designing exterior
citizens watching the day
A peaceful oasis for most of
“The square, or piazza, in Italy is far more than so many square feet of open space; it is a way of life, a concept of living. Indeed it might be said that the Italians have the smallest bedrooms but the largest living rooms in Europe. For the square, the street and the sidewalk are their living space, their playrooms, their front “parlor”...Their tiny, ill-lit, crowded flats are primarily spots for sleep, love, meals and possessions. Most leisure time is spent, indeed must be spent, outside.” (Smith, 1945).
hosted many colourfull spectacles.
Another interesting aspect about the Italian plaza is that there is hardly any difference between indoor and outdoor space except for the existence or non-existence of a roof; almost no trees are planted, and the outdoor floor is paved with beautiful patterns. Whilst sitting in the corner of such an Italian plaza and sipping somewhat sleep-inducing wine, one half-closes an eye; then experiences an illusion that the roofs of the buildings come over the plaza, and that indoor space and outdoor space are reversed, with hitherto interior space turning into exterior space and hitherto exterior space turning into interior space. Such reversibility of interior and exterior space is extremely suggestive for the study of space, and it may be as well to conceive the idea of ‘reverse space’. Since on the map of an Italian city the white spaces not occupied by buildings are all streets and plazas - in other words, buildings directly abutt on streets - it would cause no harm from the point of view of reverse space even if the black and white sections on the map were reversed. It is important, in designing exterior space, that the designer express his intentions to the full even in this ‘reverse space’. Only when one gives sufficient attention not only to the space occupied by the buildings which are designed, but also to the space not occupied by the surrounding context - that is by paying attention to reverse space - only when the buildings and their surrounding spaces are designed as positive space, or when the whole plot of architecture is conceived as a singular piece of architecture and of the parts without a roof as exterior space, does one truly begin to design exterior space (Ashihara, 1970).
Positive and Negative space
There are two kinds of architectural space, one whose vectors focus inward on the centre, and another whose vector diffuses outward from the centre. The positivity of space indicates the existence of human interventions or of planning with regard to space. From the viewpoint of space theory, planning means that first boundaries are determined and then order is built inward toward the centre. On the other hand, the negativity of space implies that the space is spontaneous and has no plan. In terms of space theory, non-planning refers to outward proliferation of disorder. Thus P-Space (positive) is centripetal and N-Space (negative) is centrifugal.
If a distinct object, such as an obelisk or sculpture is placed in an environment, and extends, as nature, to infinity, the space surrounding this object / sculpture can be regarded as N-Space in relation to the object. In this case, however, this particular object / sculpture can be considered unique as well as monumental. On the other hand, if an object is independent, such as a pillar or free standing fireplace, the living space surrounding the proposed object is fully functional and can be regarded as P-Space (Ashihara, 1970).
There sappears to be two kinds of monumentality. First, monumentality is achieved when monuments are clearly isolated from other objects; monumentality is formed, for instance, by such vertical elements as presented by an obelisk or a tower and by N-Space surrounding vertical elements. When there is no interpretation between the forms of monuments and the N-Space, which is reverse space, and when the two balance each other beautifully, monumentality becomes unique and its quality is enhanced. When, however, other objects that may disturb the reverse space are present around monuments, the balance between the forms of monuments and the reverse space is upset, and monumentality is drastically reduced.
The second kind of monumentality is achieved by a cluster of architectural designs. Suppose, for example, that there are two objects A and B. An enclosing force works between A and B, bringing into existence PN-Space, which is neither P-Space nor N-Space; thus a complex space combining PN-Space (between A and B) and N-Space (around A and B) is created. Attributes of the first kind of monumentality include simplicity, clarity, impenetrability, while those of the second kind of monumentality are complexity, light and shade, penetrability, and humanity.
The formal may be called ‘primordial monumentality’ and the latter, ‘complex monumentality’.
The Seagram Building by Mies van der Rohe and the chapel at Ronchamp by Le Corbusier are marked primordial monumentality (Ashihara, 1970). On the other hand, clusters of architecture 3
marked by complex monumentality includes works by architects such as Zaha Hadid, Lebbeus 4
Woods, and Daniel Libeskind.
Elements of Exterior Space
Exterior space is very definitely architectural space and to design such space is to produce P-Space or PN-Space, integrating architecture with a roof, and exterior space without a roof. To this
end it is necessary to study scale, texture, planning and the hierarchy of spaces.
If a building stands alone, it tends to become sculptural or monumental in character, with diffuse negative space surrounding it. When a new building is added to the existing developed environment, enclosing forces begin to interact with and counteract each other. According to Ashiharaâ€™s (1970) observations, when D(depth)/H(height) = 1, it is the critical point at which the
quality of exterior space radically changes. In other words if D/H becomes larger than 1, we feel that
the distances between buildings become rather great, while if D/H becomes smaller than 1, then we feel that the distances become rather small. When D/H equals 1, then, we feel a balance between building height and the space between buildings. In the actual laying out of buildings, D/H =1,2, and
sense of closing in
3 are most frequently applied, but when we exceed D/H =4, the mutual interaction begins to dissipate, and the interaction between buildings becomes hard to perceive unless there are some structural connections provided such as outdoor corridors. Conversely, if D/H is smaller than 1: the mutual interaction begins to be strengthened. Evidently, a sense of being closed up and claustrophobia will intensify when D/H becomes smaller and smaller. When D/H becomes smaller
sense of standing apart
than 1, the form or shape of the buildings, the wall texture, the size and the location of the openings, and the angle of light entrance into the buildings becomes a major concern for designers when D/H is smaller than 1, a good exterior layout is impossible to achieve unless a sufficient balance is maintained and the relationship between the buildings and the reverse space is stabilized. According to the theory of Camillo Sitte regarding the size of plazas, the minimum dimension of a square or plaza ought to be equal to the height of the principle building in it, while its maximum dimension ought not to exceed twice that height unless the form, the purpose, and the design of the building will support greater dimensions. Translating Sitteâ€™s theory into the above mentioned formulas, the width of a plaza should be represented as follows: 1< D/H<2; when D/H is smaller than = = 1, the exterior space is no longer a plaza but a space where building interaction is too strong. When D/H exceeds 2, the enclosing forces that create the sense of plaza begin to diminish and become less operative. When D/H is somewhere between 1 and 2 the exterior space is balanced and provides a sense of proportion. The common size of the plaza, as discovered a long time ago by Sitte, corresponds with Ashiharaâ€™s observations (Ashihara, 1970).
Exterior space, when it lacks an enclosing force, tends to appear vague or limited in impact. Therefore, if it is so designed as to have a continuum of changes and rhythm, in texture, and in floor levels every 25-30m, then the monotony will be considerably be decreased and the space enlivened (Ashihara, 1970).
In the design of an exterior space the relationship between distance and texture is an important design element. Knowledge of how building materials appear at certain distances helps the designer and goes a long way toward improving the quality of exterior space. The concept of overtexture is sometimes applied to floor design. In the central plaza of the Komazawa Olympic park, the basic design unit is a 8m-by-8m square, inside of which there is a diagonal line pattern that can be appreciated by a person walking in the plaza. When a person views the plaza from a building or a high tower, the texture of the diagonal lines fades away and the arrangement of the basic design
units becomes the new over-texture, thus giving the plaza a look of fullness. Such an over-texture method of designing exterior space could be purposely applied in many different instances. For example, when we consider the texture of a wall surface made of precast concrete blocks cast with granite aggregates, close observation reveals the aesthetic quality of this special texture; the 6
granite bits are no longer perceivable, but the joints of the precast concrete blocks become a texture of the secondary order. This hierarchy of primary and secondary textures may be deliberately designed so that the exterior surfaces change in their aesthetic composition in relation to the distance from which they are viewed. If one wants the existence of the hierarchy of textures to be clearly recognized, one can achieve this effect by deliberately planning a visual discontinuity,
position for primary order
that is by providing some obstacles such as shrubbery and water areas so that the viewer can look only at the texture of the primary order or the texture of the secondary order, not both (Ashihara, 1970).
Planning Exterior Space
Exterior space may be roughly divided into two basic kinds of areas: one for human beings, and
one for vehicles. In order to prevent vehicles from intruding into the space of the urbanite, one or two steps between the two are definitely more effective than a traffic sign and one can even turn to
the use of ponds and low walls. Within, the areas demarcated by steps, low walls and ponds can create a visual continuous space where urbanites can flourish. To create an open space where people can freely move around in any direction, as in the Molecular Brownian movement, is most certainly the very first step in planning exterior space.
. In a space which is specifically designed for people, they should ideally engage in a variety of activities. The given space may be roughly divided into two types: space for movement (M) and non-movement (N). Movement is for: 1_going to a particular destination. 2_strolling. 3_playing games or sports. 4_group or mass activities. Non-movement is for: 1_relaxing, looking at the scenery, reading, waiting for friends, chatting, and courting. 2_singing, discussions, speech making, various gatherings, ceremonies, drinking, eating, and picnicking. 3_drinking fountains and public facilities such as restrooms.
Sometimes, movement and non-movement are independent from one another but most of the times these two aspects intermingle with one another. Unless space N is separated from space M, space N cannot offer the necessary sense of quietude for which it is created.
. Space N must be equipped with benches, trees, lighting, landscaping and other such amenities. It is desirable that space M should be flat, spacious and without obstacles. In designing exterior space, identification of the projected uses is an important key to determine the size of the exterior space, the texture of the pavement, the form of the walls, and the height of the floors.
In exterior space , a sense of direction plays an important role. It is desirable to place a powerfully engaging object at the end of the central axis. Without such an object the quality of the space deteriorates towards the end of the axis, the space becomes diffused, and forcefulness is lost. On the other hand, if there is some object at the end of the axis that will attract peopleâ€™s attention, then the interim space becomes more forceful. If there is a very attractive object at the end of the exterior space then the interim space between that object and the individual becomes enlivened, and if the interim space thus becomes animated, the result is an interaction that makes the object even more forceful and attractive (Ashihara, 1970).
The Hierarchy of Exterior Space
Exterior space may consist of one space, two spaces, or a number of complex spaces; in any case, it is possible to conceive of hierarchical order in spaces. One method of creating spatial order is to It is possible to conceive of a hierarchical order in space, since areas in space are different in quality.
establish areas in terms of the uses and functions of the space. For example, areas can be:............ exterior public
semi-exterior/ semi-interior semi-public/ semi-private
non-movement / cultural quiet / artistic
These are just a few possible designations of areas; in reality many different combinations are 2
conceivable. As stated earlier, exterior spaces are full of human intentions and where there are human intentions, every kind of combination of areas is conceivable.
One may design an amusement-orientated exterior space for a large crowd, and also a quiet and artistic exterior space; one may design exterior space surrounded by walls carved into a slope, and a pleasing exterior space facing streams and ponds backed by walls...The important thing is to 1
take full consideration and make the best use of every topographical condition in creating an exterior space that is as rich in variety as the functions and nuances demanded by that particular space, while at the same time being orderly (Ashihara, 1970).
The hierarchy of exterior
Space Created by Addition
space. (1) Exterior, (2)
interior spaces are
Space Created by Subtraction
connected by means of
Just as there are two ways of sculpting, one by adding something to the existing material and the
other by carving out unnecessary parts from the existing material - such as masses of stone and
semi-exterior, and (3)
wood - there are two ways of creating space, one by building architecture centrifugally, from the inside to the outside, and the other by building architecture centripetally from the outside to the inside. In the former, the inside is first determined, and then the creation of order proceeds from the inside to the outside; parts are assembled, multiplied, and expanded step by step into an organic whole after the internal functions and space have been thoroughly studied, even if the result is to the detriment of the outside. Although each part is thus very human and can well be designed, the overall structure is sometimes confusing when it exceeds a certain size. In the latter way, the outside is first determined and the creation of order then proceeds from the outside to the inside; the overall structure is analyzed, fragmented and built inward in accordance with a certain system after the scale of the over-all structure and systematic arrangement of interior space have been thoroughly studied in relation to the scale of the city. Although each part is uniformly treated, sometimes even to the extent of causing inconvenience to those who use the building, the overall structure is likely to be well-balanced, logical, and orderly.
Two different ways of creating spatial order suggest themselves if one compares works by Alvar Aalto and Le Corbusier. In the plans of some of the buildings designed by Aalto, there are Kultuuritalo, Helsinki, Finland
asymmetrical auditoriums, sometimes puzzling zigzag forms, wall lines meet each other at acute or obtuse angles, and freewheeling curves; as a result, in the elevations of these buildings there are also zigzag eaves and unexpected curved planes. Yet people are captivated by the inscrutable charm of his buildings. The zigzag forms which look puzzling on drawings, come to life and give fantastic nuances to the buildings; the eaves, staggered like a flight of wild geese, reduce monotony and achieve an aesthetic effect against the background. Aalto’s magic impresses people with the beauty of each independent space and has made use of the fact that the individual does not experience simultaneously divided / separate spaces. In contradistinction to the creation
Church at Vuoksenniska, Finnland
of spatial order from in to out, or space made by addition, is the creation of spatial order from out to in, or space made by subtraction. Le Corbusier’s work appears to be of this order. When one examines the Unité d’Habition in Marseilles, the building appeares to be almost sculptural as if a master sculptor has carved dwelling units into a mass of concrete. When one enters an apartment, the viewer cannot help the suspicion that the elongated room has been designed to contribute towards a better proportion of the building rather than to provide man with good living conditions. It may be, however, that such matters be safely ignored in view of the grandeur of Le Corbusier’s overall architectural conception.
Upon comparing the works of these two master architects from the point of view of space theory
a need arises to point out that these two approaches to architecture exist. Architecture creating order from the outside to the inside tends to be self conclusive, sculptural, and monumental. In this sense Le Corbusier’s works represent very positive architecture. On the other hand, Aalto’s works can be an example of creating order from the inside to the outside, and consequently accommodate natural expansion and cope with changes in internal functioning with ease. It may be said that Aalto is an architect whose works, to be truly appreciated, are best seen at first hand against the background of the Finnish landscape rather than in photographs, while Le Corbusier’s architectural thinking has such a universality that it transcends all environments and provinciality. To comprehend his theory is as impressive as seeing his architecture at first hand.
Space created by addition has a certain limit to scale beyond which additions result in a ‘hardening of arteries’, and, finally, in chaos. It is, therefore, not desirable that spaces created by addition grow beyond that limit. In large, complex projects, it is possible to employ both methods of creating order and so enhance the quality of the space through the influence of the two approaches on each other (Ashihara, 1970).
Left: The National Museum of Australia (Canberra, 19972001) is an ambitious commentary on aspects of contemporary historical Australian architecture. The museum employs the
the architecture of
metaphor of a Boolean string. The string represents the tangling of formalized axes. Its contortions embrace the site,
canopies, pathways, landscape elements, and the crescent-shaped footprint of the building, are a reference to the convergence of cultures within Australia. The symbolism of the knot is also
the forms of the ribbon
tangled threads manifest in
space and building. The
development of museums
experience of land, water,
history of museums
creating a continuous
a commentary on the
Verve_01 â€“music broadcasting pavilion and music museum- addresses the meeting of
complexity of contemporary
South-Africa's bio-diverse cultures within the city of Pretoria. It acts as a cultural 'treasure
issues relating to indigenous Australians. In 2005 and 2006
trove' and generator which creates awareness with the language of music. The
the National Museum was
dissemination of this universal language -music- fulfills its role as a site for the
named Australia's best major
construction and depiction of a new identity. This chapter about Museum architecture
tourist attraction(Phaidon, 2004).
plays an integral part in the need and justification of Verve_01.
History of museums
The museum has enjoyed an extensive history but has never been more popular than it is today. With the recent explosion in cultural tourism, museums have been proliferating at an unprecedented rate. Certain fundamental concerns however, have remained as constant factors in their story; most notably the museum's role as a significant site for the construction and depiction of identity (Hourston, 2004).
Unlike any other structure, the museum is a singular building type, a coveted commission for its designer. Because of its position as a manifestation of intense public pride, it is subjected to the most crucial scrutiny. The museum clearly exposes the constant tension between the specialized need of the institution, its unique requirements of exhibition, preservation, and education, and the desire of the designer for an aesthetic statement. It could be an important achievement that determines the success or failure of the designer's career.
The museum originates in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Among the first public museums were the Capitoline Museum in Rome (1734), the Vatican's Museo Pio Clementino in the late eighteenth century, and the Musee du Louvre in Paris - originally a medieval fortress, located at a point where the Paris defences (A.D. 1200) were the weakest- which actually was never designed to be a museum.
The earlier museums are not a distinct building type, and rarely were designers called upon to develop a distinct programmatic form. However, the appearance of Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand's Precis des Lecons d'Architecture Donnees a l'Ecole Polytechnique (Paris, 1802-1805) as a specific design for a museum building type, with an emphasis on the utilitarian, had a profound effect on the designer's role in the design of a new kind of structure.
Development of Museums
Museums in different societies have distinct origins and there is no simple pattern to their
development. The blockbuster mentality of pop culture, in movies and television, has seeped into the museum world. Many of the new museums are made to handle large crowds, and, to attract those crowds, these buildings are often made to draw attention to them. Museums have always been cultural and research centres, but they additionally serve as social gathering places, educational resources, and marketing Mecca's: just about every new museum designed today contains a strategically situated store, and many have elegant dining rooms or jazz cafes as well. Many also incorporate movie theatres, stages, cafes, multimedia facilities, and other spots to congregate form part of the mix, as museum designers and directors seek to maximize their appeal to the public.
The museum and its unique building type encourage the designer to be inventive in ways unimaginable as when designing an office building or other large-scale projects. Nobody goes to a museum from 'nine to five', wearing a suit and watching the clock. Its patrons go there for education, enlightenment, stories, culture, thrills, and expect to be intrigued by the architecture as
well as the art and artifact. Museums provide its designers with unimaginable opportunities to be both innovative and entertaining (Henderson, 1998).
Francis Richards (2006) delineates four types of museums: the new, the converted, the add-on, and the ‘non’ museum. The new gets most of the publicity these days, whereas the add-on is mostly the concern of American architects and usually tends to be relatively small and located in medium sized cities. Many of these additions are of a style quite different from the original structures and the most difficult part of the add-on design is to maintain the spirit of the original building. The converted is most challenging when it comes to converting / revamping buildings such as libraries, breweries and even factories into museums. The non museum –sometimes even called the ‘underground’ museum- referring to the adding on or creating of new museums in well established areas that either culturally or environmentally do not lend themselves to the expansion of existing structures or would lead to the destruction of a natural landscape, invites burying them. Bilbao Effect
Museums are still booming: new museums are being built, while existing museums are being given facelifts, either in the form of renovations or extensions. Undoubtedly, the key event that launched a tide of museum-building was the completion of the Pompidou Centre in Paris (Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, 1977). The Pompidou openly stated its claim to be an art machine whilst simultaneously demonstrating how a museum could open itself up to a city, and become a public forum and shed its cloak of pathos. Therewith, museums in the future followed in this precedent's footsteps. The subsequent culmination of this process at the end of the 20th century was the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao Spain (Frank O' Gehry, 1991-1997). The immediate knock-on 'Bilbao effect' made it absolutely clear in this specific era – a city, and possible even a whole region, can profit from a new museum- that museum architecture had finally become emancipated from the art exhibition inside of it (Greub, 2006).
Now that cities have discovered museums as a marketing factor, museums have become one of the most desirable commissions for a designer to win. A spectacular museum building possesses supra-regional attraction, and in the best cases assures the city with both a distinctive emblem and a city-centre function and future. Rundown or peripheral parts of cities can be revived by a museum, and stitch together a city as a whole. As Coop Himmelbau notes in a brief description to their Musee des Confluences: “The incentive to make direct, active use of it makes it not just a museum building, but an urban meeting point. The architecture combines the typology of a museum with the typology of an urban leisure centre.”
More and more cases are witnessed where the museum building can also act as a catalyst for economic revival in urban areas, or indeed a whole city or region. Along with the urban context and
Sammlung Goetz Gallery
the image factor, there is the function of the buildings themselves that renders them topnotch cultural rendezvous. In previous times only the paintings or the sculptures prompted excursions to a specific museum. Now, the museum building itself can make the effort twice as rewarding. Yet hand in hand with the constant announcements of new museums being built or founded, there are always reservations about the new buildings. The main thrust of criticism is always that of the architecture dominating the art exhibited inside. As Markus Lüpertz shrewdly expressed it back in 1984: “Architecture should have the greatness to present itself so that art is possible inside it, so that the art is not driven out by the claim of the architecture itself to be art, and without art being exploited by the architecture as 'decoration' which is even worse.”
Since the 1990s one can distinguish between two diametrically opposed forms of architectural articulation. On the one side is the expressive, deconstructivist architectural approach of Zaha Hadid, Daniel Liebeskind, and Frank O' Gehry. Their buildings promptly attract accusations of overpowering the art inside. Indeed, it is undeniable that they assert an extremely powerful presence, and first and foremost draw attention to themselves, and the art exhibited inside has to fight against this pre-eminence. The other speaks of the minimalist architecture as exhibited by Hertzog and de Meuron's benchmark cube for the Goetz collection (Munich, 1989-1992). With these two extremes – and the whole range of expressive possibilities in between - in mind, only one sensible conclusion can be drawn in order to escape polarization. The architecture of the museum itself, the building anchored in its urban context together with its functional rooms for administration, must function in a dialogue between building and art, architecture and users (museum staff and visitors). In the end, it is therefore the experience of the space in which the patron finds himself. The future of museums lies in proving themselves as a complex space for new, permanent experiences, and not just for lavish and short-term spectacles (Grueb, 2006). Contemporary Arts Center
_the square as urban theatre
_interior as an instrument
_strijdom square as ‘kraal’
the progressiveness of music
_a city which celebrates
_a city more vibrant
_a city in a state of despair
music as catalyst
‘Reconstruction' The edge no longer lies in edge city, but beyond the edge and the townships beyond. The edge and edge city lies within us. Within our cities and within our minds. The inner city has been abandoned by its custodians and has been allowed to become wastelands. The evidence lies in the empty carcasses of office blocks and vacant commercial sites around our inner cities. These wastelands are rippling out of the suburban residential havens and it is there where the new energy lies. Like the ripples from a pebble dropped into a tranquil body of water. The shore waiting to be overrun by the oncoming wave. We must re-conquer the city and allow it to sprawl over the suburban land and beyond. Our city must once again constitute a pleasant place in which to live in where all can live, work and relax next to one another. It must be pulled back, stitched together. How are we going to achieve this? By erasing and softening the edge in our minds. The edge that makes us want to move apart from each other, whether by class, race, gender or age. And we can achieve this by means of the common language of music. “our ability to hear not in several languages but in several musics at once” Nietzsche, F. TIME MAGAZINE. AUG 2003. Page A38
That which we rely upon to take us to a level of elation where acceptance is common ground. What is the one thing in existence that unifies all in one way or another? Music. A universal language. Verve_01 will be an anticipated metamorphosis of music that will accommodate not only a radio broadcast station but also act as an urban music pavilion, urban cinematographic theatre and music museum to form an appropriate response to the needs of its immediate site.
Utopia. Mixed media on cartridge. 2008. By author.
Untitled. By author. Ink on cartridge. 2003. The current city depicted in a state of despair. View from the base of the â€˜4-horse fountainâ€™ on Strijdom Square. ABSA Tower to the left, Van der Walt Street and informal trade in foreground. Church Street to right.
Untitled. By author. Ink on cartridge. 2003. The city more vibrant with music.
Untitled. By author. Ink on cartridge. 2003. The city injected with physical elements which celebrate the progressiveness of music.
Untitled. By author. Ink on cartridge. 2003. The city, the future, its evolution and merging of the physical and unconscious.
Kraal. Mixed media on cartridge. By author. 2008. The proposed site should unblemish past oppressive systems. The site and surrounding spaces must cascade down into one another, creating thresholds and hierarchy within each space. The building will be in stark contrast to its surroundings and its architectural iconography should strengthen the surrounding context from its monotony, allowing visual continuity. The sculptural structure will be nestled within the urban landscape and it will be classified by the form of the â€˜greater tribeâ€™ from where the structure originated, its use as well as functions. The greater tribe inspires a singular language which also conveys the same social and political structure and social values.
Surface. By author. Mixed media on cartridge. 2008. Verve 01 will allow the city’s inhabitants to rediscover and explore the iconic and historically rich environment. The site itself needs to be pulled back, the ‘surface’ needs to be ‘scratched’ so that healing may take place within the heart and mind of each city dweller. The essence of Verve 01 lies in the synthesis that aspires toward a higher level of cognisance than simple form-giving to physical space architecture which attains and transcends meaning.
In_scape. By author. Mixed media on cartridge. 2008. The interiority strongly reflects abstract settings inspired by the language of music. These interiors should act like instruments which collect sound, amplify it and transmit it elsewhere. The spaces must converge with beauty. Ideally, there must be an exchange between the patrons and the interior spaces of the building allowing room for attentiveness and enrichment.
Brown Paper Bag. By author. Mixed media on cartridge. 2008. The building envelope and surrounding context play an important role with the rejuvenation of Strijdom Square. The facades of the surrounding structures are incorporated in the design, to form a cohesive setting, where each element plays onto one another. Each facade will act as a giant urban screen, which will allow digital projection. These screens will inspire outdoor cinema theaters, act as backdrops for the performing arts, simultaneously highlighting the heart and the urban skyline of the city.
Untitled. By author. Mixed media on cartridge. 2008. This artwork strongly communicates the envisaged reactivation of forgotten and urban dead space within the inner city of Pretoria. The heart of Pretoria needs to be fibrillated so that it may once again pulse with activity during the day and night and not merely for a few hours. The building will transmit music, display images of the past, present and future to remind people what was once, what still is and what will be beautiful. The building will be a celebration of the freedom of humanity, unifying all by the common language of music. The urban space will claim its right as an urban outdoor room and become a stage and venue which will inspire a variety of activities.
location plan 0
site location 0
Ou Markplein_ Strijdom Square_ Lilian Ngoyi Square
opportunities of the site
constraints of site
pretoria state theatre
corridor of spaces
volume of transport
rationalization of pretoria
monumental space and the uncanny
history of site
history of pretoria
The history and cultural context of this site has a significant influence on the eventual design concept. It is therefore imperative that these aspects had to be considered in detail. Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive (administrative) and de facto national capital; the others are Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital. Pretoria is contained in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality as one of several constituent former administrations (which include Centurion and Soshanguve), and is therefore sometimes incorrectly referred to as Tshwane — this contentious issue is still being decided. Pretoria is located in the transitional area between the Highveld and the Bushveld, approximately 50 km north of Johannesburg in the north-east of South Africa. It lies in a warm, well sheltered, fertile valley, surrounded by the hills of the Magaliesberg range, 1,370 m (4,495 ft) above sea level. The city's coordinates are approximate 25°43'S, 28°17'E. The city houses a population of approximately one million. The main languages spoken in Pretoria include Tswana, Afrikaans, Ndebele, and English. The whole Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality has a population of 1 985 997 as of the 2001 census. Nguni-speaking settlers, who later became known as the Ndebele (derived from the Sotho word for ‘refugees’), were probably the first people to recognise the suitability of the river valley which was to become the location of the future city of Pretoria for settlement. During the “difaqane” (widespread chaos and disturbance in South Africa during the period between 1815 and about 1840) in Natal, another band of refugees arrived in this area under the leadership of Mzilikazi. However, they were forced to abandon their villages in their flight from a regiment of Zulu raiders in 1832. Pretoria itself was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, a leader of the Voortrekkers, who named it after his father Andries Pretorius. The elder Pretorius had become a national hero of the Voortrekkers after his victory over the Zulus in the Battle of Blood River. Andries Pretorius also negotiated the Sand River Convention (1852), in which Britain acknowledged the independence of the Transvaal. This made him the first successful leader in the fight against British colonialism in Sub-Saharan Africa. Pretoria became the capital of the South African Republic (ZAR) on 1 May 1860. The founding of Pretoria as the capital of the South African Republic can be seen as marking the end of the Boers' settlement movements of the Great Trek (Pretoria, 2007). 71
During the First Boer War, the city was besieged by Republican forces in December 1880 and March 1881. The peace treaty which ended the war was signed in Pretoria on 3 August 1881 at the Pretoria Convention. The Second Boer War (1899 to 1902) resulted in the end of the South African Republic and the start of British hegemony in South Africa. During the war, Winston Churchill was imprisoned in the Staats Model School in Pretoria but escaped to Mozambique. The city surrendered to British forces under Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts on 5 June 1900 and the conflict was ended in Pretoria with the signing of the Peace of Vereeniging on 31 May 1902. The Boer Republics of the ZAR and the Orange Free State were united with the Cape Colony and Natal Colony in 1910 to become the Union of South Africa. Pretoria then became the administrative capital of the whole of South Africa, with Cape Town being the legislative capital. Between 1860 and 1994, the city was also the capital of the province of Transvaal, superseding Potchefstroom in that role (Pretoria, 2007). On 14 October 1931, Pretoria achieved official city status. When South Africa became a republic in 1961, Pretoria remained its administrative capital. After the creation of new municipal structures across South Africa in 2000, the name Tshwane was adopted for the Metropolitan Municipality that includes Pretoria and surrounding towns. Pretoria previously had a rather sinister image as ‘the capital of Apartheid South Africa’. However, Pretoria's political reputation was changed with the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as the country's first black President at the Union Buildings in the same city. However, the name Pretoria still has a negative connotation to some black South Africans, and therefore a change of name to Tshwane has been proposed. This proposed change is controversial to most of the inhabitants of the city. One example of the image of Pretoria abroad was the derisive nickname Pretoria-Gasteiz for Vitoria-Gasteiz in Negu Gorriak's song Napartheid (Pretoria, 2007).
History of Site Strijdom Square was originally a dusty open space, which served as a market place in the centre of Pretoria. This site, then called Market Square, became, in approximately 1879, the home of the prestigious Pretoria Market Hall. Not only did this building boast the first museum in the Transvaal, it also hosted the gala opening of the Mozambique railway, and was the place of the trial of those accused of the Jameson Raid. A hub of economic activity since the time of Paul Kruger, the site of numerous market-places, the square lay at the administrative centre of the Union (and then the Republic) of South Africa, and came to occupy an important place in what would go on to be apartheid's capital city of Pretoria (Coombes, 2003). It was during the 1960s that the decision was taken to erect a monument on this site to Advocate Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom (1893-1958), the South African Prime Minister between 1954 and 1958 who came to be renowned for his visions of racial segregation and South Africa's republican “freedom”. It was during this time that a series of forced removals saw the demolition of the Indian market that had come to occupy the site. As such, Strijdom Square epitomized, even in its basic conditions of possibility, the principles of racial superiority through the power of oppressive physical force. By 1970 the site had been formalized as a monument; work had by this time begun on a large concrete copula which would surround a huge bronze bust of Strijdom. As early as 1965, however, planning had begun on a complementary architectural project: the Square would eventually become home to the head office of South Africa's largest Afrikaans-owned bank Volkskas (’Nation's chest’) today known as ABSA Bank, founded with exclusively Afrikaner capital, with the express aim of protecting Afrikaner assets. Its location in the heart of apartheid's capital set it aside from all other major South African banks; that it was located in Pretoria, which had also been the capital of the old Boer (Afrikaner Nationalist) Republic of the Transvaal was a fact explicitly referred to by the bank's managing director at the time. The architecturally celebrated Volkskas building was, at 132 meters, the highest building in the city, which, it was hoped, would
rival the other high buildings of the 20th Century (Bruinette & van Vuuren, 1977). For much of the apartheid regime, the Square was something of a nucleus of arts and culture in South Africa. It was the domicile of the State Theatre, a large and imposing building, which is home to a grand opera house, and which, in many ways, constituted a feigned attempt to emulate the high culture of similar European institutions. Indeed, the State Theatre functioned as a rallyingpoint for the Afrikaans and white elite during much of the apartheid era. Like much else within the square, the Volkskas building was built exclusively from materials indigenous to the country, such that the content of this architectural statement of Afrikaner nationalism and independence would embody the land to which its people were thought to have sole prerogative. A concern with indigenous materials was similarly visible in the gardens of the Square: four separated tracts of flora, each embodying the characteristic plant-life of the country's then four provinces. These provinces were themselves monumentally symbolized in an iconic statue of four powerful horses, which appear to emerge out of an elevated water-feature, to connote the national unity of joint provincial strength. The signature image of Strijdom Square was the gargantuan and disembodied head of the former apartheid statesman. At the time of Strijdom's actions, as is now apparent, Strijdom Square constituted an entire city block devoted to Afrikaner heritage, accomplishment, and culture. It was to many, as for Rosen (1992), apartheid's sacred precinct, a monumental public space that aimed to build and mould an Afrikaner National identity, a space where “planning, construction and meaning…all project and celebrate a homogenous, single public identity”. An assemblage of economic power, idealized cultural values, indexical natural elements, austere monument and marker of oppressive physical force, Strijdom Square both epitomized the values of republican Afrikaner nationalism, and presented an implicit threat to those who would challenge it. Events On Tuesday the 15th November 1988, in a self-declared attempt to start the 3rd Boer War, 23-year old right-wing extremist Barend Strijdom entered Strijdom Square (named after his unrelated namesake, J.G. Strijdom), and began a racially motivated shooting spree, at the same time as President P.W. Botha was expected to announce the possibility of Mandela's release, and while the visiting Mother Teresa prayed for peace in the capital. Strijdom began firing upon unsuspecting black men and women in Strijdom Plein. After killing his first victim just outside the State Theatre, Strijdom, dressed in military apparel, moved through the Square, shooting and wounding another two people. Ten meters away from these first killings Strijdom shot another three people. A witness, Elbie Beneke, recalls what she saw: “a man came running from the State Theatre...I saw him shoot three people. He then came closer to my car where he took a black man by the face, pushed him back and shot him at point blank range through the head”. Strijdom then left the Square, killing another bystander as he crossed the adjacent street. At the nearby corner of Church and Prinsloo Street he opened fire on yet another victim, before gunning down a further five victims in Prinsloo Street itself. It was here that a black civilian courageously wrestled Strijdom to the ground, and held him captive until the police arrived. Strijdom had carefully picked the site of this event such that it would amplify his actions and incite a resurgence of the powerful racial division of South Africa that he believed was under threat. Significantly, a week before the Strijdom Square massacre he had visited the nearby Voortrekker Monument to pray and re-enact the Blood River vow, a clear attempt to link the murderous history of his own making to a set of historical and ideological precedents (Hook, 1995). In total, Barend Strijdom killed eight and wounded fourteen black men and women in his vicious and racist rampage, an act he ‘legitimized’ in his bid for amnesty as an act of war to protect the Afrikaner nation. On 29 September 1992, the day Strijdom was released from prison on the basis of political amnesty, a large amount of red dye was poured into the fountain on the Square: an act that
stereotyped as of left or right political persuasion, Coetzer said that his motivation was “to wrench South Africans from a placid and spineless acceptance of horror”. However, this account of Strijdom Square and of the ideological effects of uncanny doubling within its domain does not end here. On the 31st of May 2001 (also previously known as the anniversary of the old Republic Day), at approximately 5 a.m. in the morning, the capacious copula and statue of Strijdom’s head imploded into an underlying parking lot, taking along with it a large section of the Square. A newspaper article alluded to the oddity of this coincidence: “The bronze bust of... Strijdom, the 'Lion of the North' crashed into a 10 m-deep chasm... split in two... it lay unceremoniously dumped among piles of broken concrete and dust...”(Hook, 1995).
linked to the affective responses that their uncanny presence provokes. Hook’s approach offers a critical psychoanalytic approach to what he has very loosely termed the “intersubjectivity” of subject and place.
Artist Jacques Coetzer later claimed responsibility for putting dye in the fountain. Reluctant to be
Monumental Space And The Uncanny by Hook, D. 1995. It is suggested that one also takes an in depth look at the psychoanalytic aspects that shadow Strijdom Plein. A recent paper by Derek Hook from the Department of Social
vision of Afrikaner freedom into a potent reminder of whose freedoms it had excluded.
Psychology in London’s School of Economics and Political Science focuses on some of these mentioned aspects. This paper has concerned itself with the question of the “ideological aura” of monuments, an aura which seems importantly
seemed to iconoclastically subvert the cultural and ideological meaning of the Square, inverting its
Hook writes_The attempt in
their trades there when I last
rather in order to be lived by
The Freudian Uncanny
two close comparisons - a set
monuments as technology of
experiences in a particular
this respect has been to
visited the square. I remember
people with bodies and lives in
For Freud (1964) there are a
of affects which saturate a
power hence opens up the
place or on a particular date”
approach the dialectic of
one man (noted also by
their own particular…context
variety of impressions and
given place and hence create
possibility of its own
(1964, p. 248). If we are to take
subject-space identification in a
Diphare, 1999) who specialized
(1974, p. 143).
events able to induce feelings
the impression of a divine
my argument regards the
way that does not solely rely on
in taking photographers of
of what he calls 'the uncanny'.
power, a power without origins,
a discursive, social
passers-by alongside a
The 'intersubjectivity' of
When we speak of the uncanny
beyond the limits of human
The ideological uncanny
seriously, then the impact of
constructionist or post-
cardboard cut-out of Nelson
subject and space
we have in mind a sense of the
understanding, present even in
Disturbingly the field of the
this particular event might be
structuralist framework. A key
Mandela, sometimes, ironically,
Edward Said (1978)
eerie, the frightening, the
the absence of human actors.
uncanny at work here is not
said to exceed its (not
objective here, furthermore, has
alongside the Strijdom head”.
unexplained, that visceral pinch
The ideological profit in being
simply that of the 'gravity' for
been that of understanding
“Freud's notion of the uncanny
description of the inside of a
of fear and uncertainty as in
able to retrieve, and reiterate,
Strydom to 'complete' Strijdom,
significance. In terms of the
space as itself a kind of
as a theory able to explain a
house that acquires a sense of
instances of déjà vu which
however momentarily, however
a kind of fantasmatic
latter, one might feel the
subjectivity even if of a
series of disturbing affects of
intimacy, secrecy, security, real
disturb us and cause us to
unconsciously, such “primitive”
'interpellative loop' at the
temptation to make an
predominantly imaginative or
monuments, such as those of
or imagined, because of the
momentarily reassess our
modes of apprehension through
individual level, it is also the
observation about the
fantasmatic kind. In addition, I
'embodied absence' and
experiences that come to seem
relation to the world and its
the designs of monuments,
ongoing uncanniness exerted
ostensibly iconic nature of this
have suggested that Freud's
'disembodied presence'. These
appropriate for it. The objective
supposedly natural order. Of
would seem clear, particularly if
on us, that of a deplorable
event, of how it so powerfully
notion of the uncanny may help
and similar affects of
space of a house…is far less
particular importance here, for
it is the case that, as it seems it
doubling in time, the uncanny
signifies the death of apartheid.
us understand how monuments
'ontological dissonance' (such
important than what poetically it
Freud, are doubts as to
is, that these magical types of
repetition of apartheid's racist
I would tend to resist this
produce insidious ideological
as unexplained instances of
is endowed with…a quality with
whether an apparently
thinking are characterized by
violence. One of the outcomes
temptation, instead suggesting
and interpellative affects by
doubling or repetition) may
an imaginative or figurative
inanimate object is really alive,
relations nor only of fear, but of
of Strydom's murderous acts
that we can only hope that
incurring affects of
function in an ideological
value we can name and feel…
or, conversely, whether a
then may have been that of
apartheid is as dead as
uncanniness, which are able to
manner, both so as to impose a
Space acquires emotional and
lifeless object might in fact be
subservience, and reverence.
increasing the ideological
Strijdom's shattered head. Of
unsettle the ego in its relation to
'supernaturalism of power', and
even rational sense by a kind of
somehow animate. Similarly
10 In this way monuments
uncanniness of this place, of
course, on the other hand, if we
body and time. Be it through
to effect an uncanny form of
uncanny are the effects of fits,
might be said to induce a
compounding its psychical and
are to credit the above account
the affects of 'imputing
geography…help[s] the mind to
or manifestations of insanity,
powerful unconscious of
of the affective and ideological
intensify its own sense of
because “they excite in the
Fortunately however, this
resonance of monuments along
itself… (pp. 54-55).
spectator the impression of
account of Strijdom Square
the lines that I have speculated
presence' within inanimate monumental structures, or by
'implying' a subject through an
uncanny structure which begs
the 'resolution' of the
uncanniness of monuments
Places of imbued presence
and of the ideological effects of
above, then it would seem that
brings to the fore another
processes at work
The attempt to imbue presence,
uncanny doubling within its
we should take this
Lefebvre's (1974) objections to
prospective shortcoming of
is an interesting footnote to the
domain - does not end here. At
serendipitous event, this
participation of a certain
those analyses of monuments
discursive approaches to
activity” (Gordon (1997) is right
initial construction of the
approximately 5am on the
instance of historical chance
ideological subjectivity, or
that would treat them as
space: the fact that they lack an
in this respect to note that in
Strijdom Monument. Although
morning of the 31st of May 2001,
seriously. Ultimately then, does
action, we might understand
predominantly the outcome of
account of the corporeal
emphasizing this aspect of the
the head was originally
the gigantic Strijdom head
this event, the final destruction
monuments as machines of the
signifying practices. The
properly able to acknowledge
uncanny Freud is harking back
designed to look 'towards the
imploded into an underlying
of this head, its splitting apart
uncanny, as vehicles of
monument, he states, can “be
and understand the bodily
to “Animism, Magic and the
future' and the rest of the
parking lot, taking along with a
on the 40th anniversary of
ideological uncanniness. In
reduced neither to a language
experience of space. One
omnipotence of Thoughts” in
Square, in a westerly direction,
large section of Strijdom
apartheid's Republic Day, have
many ways the Strijdom Square
of discourse nor to the
cannot help but recall
his earlier Totem and Taboo). It
this was later changed by the
Square. A press release by the
any real significance, even if
of 2004 has returned to what it
categories and concepts
Lefebvre's (1974) warnings in
is not difficult to grasp the
late President's wife, who
Voortrekker monument heritage
only fantasmatic, unconscious,
once was: an economic hub
developed for the study of
this respect, that space
political or ideological imports
refused to have Strijdom's gaze
site (2003) noted, “The bronze
and thoroughfare, a properly
language” (p. 222). The
commands as its raison d'être,
of such affects. Such forms of
looking in the direction of a
statue landed at the bottom of
public space at the heart of the
complexity of such a 'spatial
that space is “lived by people
presence (as above) imply
series of Indian shops across
the parking area [beneath the
city of Pretoria. The political
work' must be understood as of
with bodies and lives”
relations of surveillance, an
from the Square (Bruinette &
Square] and broke into five
context of the Square's making
a fundamentally different order
awareness of which was
van Vuuren, 1977). A far less
pieces”. A Johannesburg
has become thoroughly
to that of the complexity of a
or displacement: Strijdom
central, as noted in the original
reverent example of how
newspaper reported that The
ostracized from its current
text, he argues. The actions of
Square is just one in a series of
design specifications of the 12-
presence was imbued in the
monument was virtually
uses. No longer apartheid's
social practice, he argues and
South African examples in
foot high Strijdom Head. More
Strijdom bust comes from
demolished. All that remained
sacred precinct, the Square is
this is a key point “are
than just a relationship of
Frans Legodi, a member of the
were sculptured horses on a
today filled with informal traders
expressible but not explicable
materials are used in the
surveillance though, this
cleaning department at Strijdom
plinth alongside the head. The
the majority of whom are black
through discourse” (p. 222,
uncanny presence functions
Square: We used to clean Mr.
sculpture's head could not be
selling a dizzying variety of
emphasis added). This is in part
also to imply a supernatural
Strijdom's head. We would
seen from the side of the
cheap goods and foodstuffs to
because social practices are
There is an almost magical kind
omnipresence, and beyond
order soap to keep it shiny,
Square, the centre of which had
passers-by. A nearby taxi-rank
precisely acted rather than
of thinking taking place here
this, a non-material, and even
even inside the nose. I would
sunk several meters, as if in a
ensures that the square is
read. Lefebvre's suggestion
whereby the use of the
conceivably spiritual essence to
look to see is a white man was
sinkhole (The Star, 2001, p. 3).
always busy; it operates as a
thus is that in the analysis of
substance, the stone, the flora
the political order it supports.
passing. If not, I would slap the
The collapse came on the 40th
popular drop-off and meeting
monuments we need be acutely
of a country, is used to
We have here, in the
face. That would make me feel
anniversary to the day of what
point. The damage to the floor
aware of “the level of affective,
(imaginatively) consecrate a
uncanniness of presence
good (Diphare, 1999).
would have been “Republic
of the square has been
bodily, lived experience” (p.
political essence of sorts; a
without physical body a sense
repaired, although the dome
224). Emphasizing this
sense of presence conjured up
of a de-corporealized
how this 'mechanism of
regime marking the day South
has not been replaced. The
argument he maintains also
via material. Bunn (1999) has
surveillance extending beyond
presence' also points to the
Africa left the Commonwealth
State Theatre, experiencing
that Space commands bodies,
made reference to exactly this
the confines of the human.
'Achilles heel' of the technology
to continue its pursuit of racial
financial difficulties, is, for the
prescribing or proscribing
Implying presence in this way is
of power that such monumental
segregation policies. The statue
most part, closed. A number of
gestures, routes…this is its
between settler identity and
a useful tactic for a
forms attempt to effect.
was exactly 29 years old: it
homeless people live in and
raison d'être. The 'reading' of
natural landscape within
mystificatory variety of power
Because of the presence they
collapsed on the same day,
around the square, effectively
space is thus merely a
colonial Southern Africa. The
that wishes to hold its subjects
are supposed to manifest, to
May 31st, that it was first
treating it as home. On
secondary and practically
tactic here is that of making
in awe, or within a relation of
embody, the desecration of
unveiled in 1972 by Susan
weekdays the square often has
irrelevant upshot, a rather
political vision somehow
intimidation. This is what I have
monuments does lend itself to
Strijdom, the former prime
a rather festive feel to it,
superfluous reward to the
intrinsic to the land; what is
in mind in speaking of the
powerful significations, powerful
minister's wife. Freud had, of
especially around lunch times,
produced is “an expression of
'supernaturalism of power', a
symbolic resonances. Exactly
course, included amongst his
when it is busiest. An
and lived obedience…[S]pace
'magic of the state' in Taussig's
this seems to have been the
description of the uncanny
assortment of barbers, street-
[is]…produced before being
identity…coaxed out of the
(1997) conceptualization, a kind
case when red dye was
those “remarkable coincidences
performers, buskers, beggars
read…[not] produced in order
rock” (p 3).
of haunted, 'ghostly matter' in
introduced into the fountains of
of wish and fulfilment, the most
and photographers were plying
to be read and grasped, but
Gordon's (1997) terms - to draw
Strijdom Square in September
mysterious repetition of similar
The issue of embodiment
First, in the case of contiguity,
This example makes it clear
Day” under the apartheid
1992. The uncanniness of 75
(Strijdom Square) is
the majority of other
the central church
located on one of
South African cities
was positioned: Paul
has been set out on
Kruger Street and
1. The antiquated spelling
a westernized grid
of the word kardo with the
ending at the four
gateways of Pretoria.
word refers to cosmic north
known to be
The urban grid was
and south axis. This was
ordered around this
originally understood to be
central position and
preferred to conduct
relates to the cosmic
decumanus running east-
their political and
path of the sun as
church services in an
well as the entrances
crated by the valley.
Thus, Pretoria can
be divided into four
they followed the
quarters using the
same ideals in
intersects in Church
quarters are large
according to regular
enough to fit 1km
grid patterns and
served as a model
within them. When
which was easily
these circles and
understood by both
planners and its
connect with one
users (Holm, 1998).
another, this is
The centre of
letter ‘k’ is an indication of it’s ancient origin. The
the main street crossed at the right angles by the
2. The crossing, sign, standing for the figure ten or decem in Latin, hence decumanus (Holm, 1998).
Pretoria was defined
by the Church with
are placed as with
the roman principle
of urbs quadrata
applied in the layout
 Church Square,
of the city. This
 Lion Bridge, 
implies that the town
Paul Kruger House,
is quatered by the
 Strijdom Square
intersection cross of
and the Old
the kardo¹ and
decumanus². At the
designated by an + or a x
Pretoria, as well as
van der walt street
paul kruger street
Left: The landscape, the settlement, and formation of Pretoria
the completion of
this new ‘Metro Mall’
(opened 2008 and in
use) the Boom
2_Boom Street Mini
Street Taxi rank will
Bus Taxi Rank
become one of the
3_Van der Walt
Street ‘drop off
nodes in Tshwane.
5_ Belle Ombre
paul kruger street
nodes are situated
The proposed site is
easily accessible to
Street, as well as
both private and
access routes are
which allows for
a_Andries Street and
b_Van der Walt
distance to the site.
routes via Nelson Mandela Drive).
pretorius street D.F malan drive
Street (both of these
Informal Public transport [taxis] allows for easy access, seeing that Van der Walt Street serves as a ‘drop off’ node and terminates at the
Boom Street Taxi rank 4-5 city blocks from the site. In August 2007 the construction on a new transportation hub was announced and will be situated on the existing Boom Street taxi rank. On
main vehicle arteries
1_Sammy Marks Shopping Centre A one stop city centre
sheer facade roots it firmly
Street to the east and
in the past” (Fisher, Le
allows easy access for
Roux, Mare’ 1998).
pedestrians as an
alternative route instead of
which is connected via a
sky bridge with Munitoria
Formerly known as
Volkskas Bank: Designed
by Samual Pauw. “Situated
Marks includes the City
on the south-western
Library, Health Department
corner of Strijdom Square
next to Pretorius and Van
Bereau, Mayoral Suite, and
der Walt Street. It is an
Conference and Civic
office block of 38 storeys.
This structure remains
2_Lewis and Marks
of the skyscraper. Unlike so many other examples, it
designed in 1903 by W.J.
broke new ground on the
De Zwaan and has
formal criterion of honest
shopfronts that remind us
expression of the diverse
‘gragtehuise’. It is the last
architectural form. The
building complex of
Samual Marks in the city.
proportions of its return to
As for style and topology,
the base / shaft /capital
the building is a great
articulation of the classic
example of the beginning
of the 20th century
strongly with the sheared-
shopping complexes which
off Modernism of its
is filled with commercial
contemporaries and its
and retail opportunities.
exponential scale adds
The building is historically
romantic overtones to the
connected with Tudor
(Fisher, Le Roux, Mare’
Chambers and Afrik
House” (Le Roux, 1990).
6_Premum Towers (left), Previously used as ABSA) before Absa Tower
the oldest remaining
was built. City Towers
building in the inner city.
The building is protected
and contextual importance
Comprising retail stores on
3_Reserve Bank "Against the backdrop the Reserve Bank sticks out as a bone of contention". A late modern clone of Miesian and Bunshaft principles with a high-tech gloss, its facades sport external glazing, slick granite finish and state of the art- or art of state?Infrastructure. Yet its architectural image ‘tower on plaza’ massing and
3 8 7 4 6
Volkskas Bank (today
back to 1875-1884 and is
because of its historical
example from the heyday
(left) “The building was
(right) “This building dates
crossing the high traffic of Van der Walt Street.
lower levels. Upper stories include offices for the use of Standard Bank. The building has a small arcade with retail stores in the lowest basement level and connects to the parking levels underneath Strijdom Square which connects west underneath Van der Walt Street. The centre generates significant activity by means of the pedestrianized Church
River as is the
the West. These
Pretoria and act as a
wall to a medieval
town. Evidently these
3_Green belt at TUT Arts Campus 4_Church Street
green belts and open spaces form the edges of the CBD.
Heroesâ€™ Park 5_Princess Park 6_Church Square 7_Pretorius Square 8_Burgers Park 9_Melrose House Gardens 10_Berea Park
11_Gardens of Remembrance/ Freedom Park
It is noted that these defined green spaces are predominantly situated on the periphery of the
Northern and 8
Southern ridges of the city. To the west
large areas of land are found untouched and undeveloped due
to land claims. These unclaimed areas relate to our bio sensitive enviroments on the outskirts of our city. The eastern edge is strongly defined by the embracing green spine of the Apies
urban fabric apies river green spaces
Urban Spaces 1_Bell Ombre Station 2_National Zoological Gardens 3_Church Square
4_Paul Kryger Church Plain
5_Strijdom Plein 6_Pretorius Square 7_Dti Square 8_Breytenbach Square 9_Melrose Square 10_Pretoria Station Square 11_Gardens of Remembrance /
Freedom Park The cityâ€™s urban spaces create two distinct axis. The first 7
spans from North to South along Paul Kruger Street, the
from East to West, creating an axes along Church Street,
crossing the other in the historically
established urban space known as Church Square. Smaller axes interlink on the periphery of the cityâ€™s CBD, connecting surrounding neighbourhoods with the city.
the city is activated
during the day and
As shown, the
again from 16h00-
supported by the
surrounding commercial entities. These pedestrian activites are concentrated along Church Street (pedestrian), Pretorius Street (one way vehicle traffic to the west), Van der Walt Street (one way vehicle traffic to the north) and Paul Kruger Street. In conjunction with the above mentioned, additional large scaled pedestrian activity takes place on the perimeter of the CBD. One of these activities is initiated from within Sunnyside (high residential area to east of the CBD). Esselen Street acts as a main pedestrian artery which channels large numbers of pedestrian activity. These activities take place mainly from
Corridor of Spaces
to their surrounding
1_Open space next
to post office 2_Church Square 3_Sammy Marks Square 4_Strijdom Square 5_Open space next to Sammy Marks Square 6_Open space in front of State Theatre 7_Open space in front of Reserve Bank 8_Open space in front of Stage Door
"The main problem that was created by the Reserve Bank, State Theatre, Strtjdom Square and Munitoria is one of interruption. The oneness of the movement patterns along the streets has been cut off that makes these places islands, islands that can only be used by certain types of people at only certain times of the
day. The modernist
and well established
approach must be
open spaces are
rejected today and
configured along a
the city must come
first" (Le Roux,
starting from Church
Square and terminating in front of the Reserve bank.
Each of these spaces is different in
size and function. Although placed
along Church Street, none of them are used to their full potential. These spaces are disconnected and undefined (exept Church Square which is defined by its historic context). These spaces are blocked off from public access (by security gates) and they are insensitive
indispensable condition: to be easily readable, to be comprehensible. lf this is not so, if the citizens do not have the sense of being carried along by spaces which communicate their identity and enable them to predict itineraries and convergences, the city loses a considerable â€œThe city is not a place for the
part of its capacity in terms of
individual, but the place
information and accessibility.
where individuals gather to
ln other words, it ceases to
make up a community. lt is the
be stimulus to collective live"
relation between individuals
-a speech by Oriol Bohigas of
that constantly weaves the
identities are to be maintained
MBM Arquitectes when the
threads of ideas and
and created, it is necessary to
RIBA Gold medal was not
expanding information. lf one
understand the city not as a
given to a person, but a city;
start out from the idea that the
global unitary system but as a
Barcelona- (Hutten, 2005).
city is the physical domain for
number of relative
the modern development of
the commonality, one hase to
However, one deals not only
accept that in physical terms
with the identity of the
the city is the conjunction of
neighbourhoods, but with the
its public spaces.
Public space is the city. In
identity of each fragment of
order for urban space to fulfil
the urban space; in other
its allotted role it has to
words, with the coherence of
resolve two aspects: identity
its form, its function, and its
and legibility. The identity of a
image. The space of collective
public space is tied up with
life shouldnâ€™t be residual, but
the physical and social
a planned and meaningful,
identity of its wider setting.
designed in detail, to which
However, this identification is
the various public and private
bound by limits of scale that
are normally smaller than
those of the city as a whole.
The design form of the public
If authentic collective
space has to meet one other
Pretoria State Theatre This existing complex of theatres and performance spaces is the most influential context to its neighbouring site, Strijdom Square, and relates intimately to the design proposal of this dissertation. Construction of the State Theatre started in 1965. Designed by Walter Smith and Hannes Botha: they were strongly influenced by the mega-structures of the Japanese, like that of architect Kenzo Tange. The State Theatre, as well as many other buildings globally have been designed as symbols of power of the persons or institutions governing countries during that specific zeitgeist. These massive monumental structures are known to dominate the urban spaces in which they are placed, since they were mainly designed to exercise control and power over the city’s inhabitants. The directorate of the Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal (PACT) moved into the first completed section of the theater ten years after the construction of the theatre began.The State Theatre was officially inaugurated on 23 May 1981. The theatre enabled the performing arts to be united under one roof. Other activities included administration, workshops, storage, stock, staff, refreshment, rehearsal and performance facilities. This was once one of the most unique centres for the performing arts in the world and left its visitors with an unequaled and unforgettable experience in the history of PACT. To a great extent the theatre lived up to the expectations of the capital’s ‘people’, although exclusively white. It provided entertainment across the spectrum of performing arts which included productions of ballet, drama, music and opera which were immaculately organized. The theatre allowed its artists and production teams to develop their skills by working under the guidance of some of the world’s elite. Statistics of the Theatre’s first financial year _Total expenditure in 1981 amounted to R11 492 000 Projected to 2003 with an inflation rate of 11.20% this Amounts to R118 768 000 _Over 200 events took place in the Theatre which included theatre productions. _428 performances were staged _275 guided tours through the buildings took place _322 260 people attended these events _804 of the permanent employees were in the service of PACT _690 freelance artists and stage technicians accepted part-time contracts (THE SOUTH AFRICAN STATE THEATER, Annual report 2003. P4)
Allegations were made that the Theatre was mismanaged during the 90s and that a bad investment had been made by the executive management. Substantial findings in 2000 confirmed these allegations. The management of the theatre decreased even more and in June 2000 the entire staff of the State Theatre was retrenched. The State Theatre closed their doors and lay dormant. The Theatre announced in 2001 that it would act as a Playhouse and would no longer direct productions of their own, but rather provide its facilities for private art groups to host productions. After the allegations of corruption, rebuilding the theatre to its former glory became a tedious and time consuming task. Many of the capital’s people are still left with the misconception that the Theatre has closed down. The dormancy of the State Theatre also saw the degradation of the facilities and equipment into a state of disrepair. Funds have since been invested in upgrades, but this process is far from having the Theatre fully restored to its former state (Wessel, 2007).
State Theater Vision Statement “To create a sustainable theatre complex which profiles the diversity of South African arts through quality performing, accessibility and accountability and encourages the development of artists, producers, technicians and audiences in South Africa and in Gauteng and Tshwane in particular” (THE SOUTH AFRICAN STATE THEATRE-A CULTURAL INSTITUTION, Annual Report 2003/04. P4)
“It is important to realize that the State Theatre can be the shop window of our cultural life, of the artistic and theatre achievements of this country and the creative spirit of our various cultures.” (THE SOUTH AFRICAN STATE THEATRE, Annual Report 2003. P4)
Physical constraints of the site
One cannot help to notice the numerous constraints which are found in and among Strijdom Square. These constraints play a tremendous role in how the city’s inhabitants perceive, access and use this prominent public space. Such constraints contribute to the death of Strijdom Square. It seems as if the nature of the city’s inhabitants to barricade themselves behind physical and psychological barriers indirectly reflects on our public spaces. Instead of having a group / family of neighbouring urban spaces which flow and spill into one another we are left with individual subdivided spaces which are defined by their materiality and permanent street furniture . Instead of having urban spaces which intrigue and alleviate the urbanite from their obtuse environments, one is left with voids and pockets of air which are barely being used. The north facade of the ABSA Tower and the west facade of the State Theatre entirely lack interaction with Strijdom Square [fig. 19]. The western facade of the Theatre has been widely criticized as the main contributor to the death of the square. The city council architect (1970) said: “Pretoria is basically a garrison and the laager mentality which produced the Voortrekker Monument is obvious in the blockhouse style of the Opera House. Not only did the State Theatre contribute to the death of Strijdom Square but it was built with an overhang on the Church Street side of Strijdom Square, which aesthetically demands the demolition of the historic Sammy Marks building across the road” (Meyer. 1979:5). Currently, the building envelope disregards its surroundings and this has led to harsh unwelcoming and dead spaces within the city. When activities disappear between buildings and the spaces which surround them, the boundaries between isolation and contact of people become sharper (Gehl. 1987:19). The way the built fabric disregards its surroundings is one of the reasons why activity between buildings is disappearing. The space in front of the western facade of the State Theatre is a clear example of how dead space is created when the building does not respond directly to its neighbouring spaces [fig 7]. The building edge opposite Strijdom Square is thought of as something which turns inwards - towards its rooms; these buildings must ideally be orientated toward the outside. Currently these buildings are socially isolated and one has to cross a no-man’s land to get to them.
The Square itself is subdivided into two spaces, one being the immediate space next to the western facade which is then separate from the greater Square by means of an enormous planter [fig 5]. Numerous complaints have been posted that it is an unkempt space surrounded by dust and artificial rock like structures which offer the square nothing except a breeding ground for stray cats...How the street (Van der Walt Street) responds to Strijdom Square is another aspect that restricts activation. This particular, fast moving four lane one way turns its back on the square, not allowing pedestrians to cross [fig 7 & 13]. Cars give people wonderful freedom and increase their opportunities. But they also destroy the environment, to an extent so drastic that they kill all social life (Alexander. 1977). Instead of having activities which flow from and into one another, the Square and its surroundings accommodate only minimal activities. The street and the square are the only and necessary model for the reconstruction of a public realm (Krier, 1978:58).
A major concern regarding the activation of Strijdom Square revolves around accessibility to and
from the site. The first issue is a threshold that allows pedestrians to access the Square from Pretorius Street. This space also allows access to the ‘Backstage’ which acts as the main entrance for artists and staff members. The space is overwhelmed by the two, single direction vehicle entrance and exit routes from the basement parking levels below the Square [fig 1 & 21]. The height difference (1,5m - 2m) between this threshold and the Square, which also acts as a visual barrier, means that it is restricted by a retaining wall and that access is limited access by means of a 2m wide staircase [fig 20]. Owing to recent events of vandalism and the increase in crime within the city centre, security measures around the base of the ABSA Tower have resulted in a palisade perimeter, restricting activation and cross flow from east to west on the platform on which the ABSA Tower is placed [fig 22]. Another staircase and fenced threshold are situated on the western perimeter of the raised platform. This 6m wide staircase also restricts pedestrians who are walking from the corner of Pretorius and Van der Walt Street so that they cannot easily flow from and to the site [fig 4 &16]. In addition, the base of the Absa towers is the most notable restriction on the southern edge of the site and forces pedestrians to move around the buildings footprint. Ideally, one should lift the ABSA Towers’ ‘skirt’ so as to allow pedestrians to easily spill into the square [fig 2 & 4]. The notable height difference between the surrounding context and the Square also acts as a factor contributing to the latter’s death. In terms of the transition mentioned between the raised platform on which the ABSA Tower rests and the square itself, by means of two staircases on the sides of the ABSA platform, and the difference in height between the Square and pedestrian sidewalk on the western periphery of the site. A prominent wall / balustrade on the western periphery of the site forms a barrier that does not allow pedestrians to spill onto the Square [fig 3]. Notably, there is a lot of pedestrian activity along Van der Walt Street as well as informal trade but these activities are restricted to the sidewalk and can not spill over to the Square.
The informal trade along Church Street [fig 6] inspires any activation of Strijdom Square, but instead of terminating at the pedestrian and high traffic junction, the informal trade continues to the east, and past Strijdom Square, creating yet another barrier, physically and visually not allowing pedestrians to activate and interact with the Square.
The Square and its neighbouring spaces are restrictive due to their vast size and instant change in levels and the nature of their materials. These spaces and their materials should ideally flow into one another so that the transition is minimal. The use of material changes dramatically from granite (ABSA Tower) to brick (Strijdom Square), then to painted screed (raised platform on which fountain is placed), back to brick (Church Street) and finally into precast concrete tiles (Sammy Marks Square). During the day the painted screed level (white and green) absorbs much short-wave radiation and re-releases heat into the Square, making the environment unbearable. The painted surface also reflects light, creating a glare which is visually unpleasant.
Opportunities of the site
Apart from all these negative aspects which fail to live up to what people expect from squares, there are also positive attributes which inspire numerous opportunities.
The placement of Strijdom Square is significant since its neighbouring public space (Church Square) contributes to the liveliness of, and pedestrian flow between, the two spaces via Church Street. Church Street is assigned to pedestrians, starting within Church Square and terminating in Prinsloo Street which is situated on the eastern side of the State Theatre.
The pedestrian movement diagonally across Church Street through Strijdom Square is also a contributor, ranging from north (Boom Street Taxi rank) to south (pedestrian route via Sunnyside on the south-eastern edge of the city).
Vertical movement includes pedestrian activity on the western edge of the site (a side walk on, both sides of Van der Walt Street) and generates more pedestrian activity than all activity combined from other routes [fig 12 & 14]. As mentioned these sidewalk routes restrict activation of the square 87
by means of physical and visual barriers, respectively being the informal traders, the high speed one way street and the balustrade / wall which divides the square and sidewalk. The above mentioned routes are used as corridors. At any given time during the day there are approximately 1200-1500 people within the State Theatre concisting either of some of the staff members, or artists rehearsing or artists building props for stages. During night time these numbers drop dramatically and the Theatre is only occupied by patrons visiting it for a show. Recently a well established restaurant and brand name known as Cappelloâ€™s opened its doors at the entrance of the Drama Theatre (corner of Church Street and Prinsloo Street) which has contributed greatly to the reactivation of the Theatre during the night. Most of Cappelloâ€™s patrons live on the southern residential periphery of the city centre and it also attracts large amounts of people living in Sunnyside.
On the western basement edge of Strijdom Square there is a staircase allocated for vertical displacement between two basement parking levels [fig 11]. This staircase connects to an underground tunnel and arcade which links the basement parking levels with the Standard Bank Centre. The said arcade is directly underneath Van der Walt Street. It includes small retail stores and opens up to the atrium of the Standard Bank Centre [fig 10]. The centre generates activity via Church Street and acts as an optional link to Strijdom Square as regarding crossing the busy Van der Walt Street. Sammy Marks Centre offers a variety of activities and is currently the most prominent generator for activity of all the buildings and open public spaces in the CBD. Its main entrance is situated on the corner of Van der Walt and Prinsloo Streets [fig 17 & 18]. This entrance and its space act as a gateway, threshold and nodal interchange to Strijdom Square. A secondary entrance and nodal interchange are situated on the corner of Church and Prinsloo Street [fig 7, 8 & 9] and act as an activation node for pedestrians entering from the east. This particular space could activate its surrounding public spaces, which include the space in front of the Reserve Bank and r
that in front of the Drama entrance of the Theatre. The area in front of the Reserve Bank is barricaded by security gates while that in front of the Drama entrance is defined by the two way entrance and exit route to basement parking levels.
Sammy Marks Square could interlink and cross activate with the space directly next to the Theatreâ€™s western facade. Due to the physical constraint offered the organic planter box this is not possible. Sadly, Sammy Marks Centre closes down completely during the night. Ideally one should group night activities. If they are separated and scattered around the city they will not contribute much to the night life. One must knit together shops, amusements and services which are open at night, along with hotels, residential clusters, bars and all night restaurants to form centres of night life: well lit, safe and lively places that increase the intensity of pedestrian activity at night (Alexander. 1977).
The above mentioned interventions will not only enhance the liveliness of Sammy Marks but also allow cross-pollination between itself and its immediate surroundings.
t e re
ped est ria
n r ou
en tr to
1_as in a Cubist painting, the observer has to climb hand over hand from one vista to another. When one observes the structure it should dissolve into sequences of imagery as if spread over a landscape.
The process of design
2_proposed structure to be
the basement/ lower levels of proposed structure, also alluring the main senses: sight and hearing. 5_linear movement across site i.e. horizontal: pedestrian and vertical: vehicular.
4_sound resonating into
and content are not fixed.
distinctions between form
3_explosion of space into
ideal height depth ratio
urban envelope as closed box
Structure a form of linear
site observation and other preconfigurations
in vivid contrast with
One of the dominating topics in architectural design today is the relationship between a designer's
creative vision, the medium in which this vision is expressed, the techniques by which it is
6_existing context and
documented and described, and finally between these three modes of architectural development,
relationship to one another,
its material and structural sensibility.
study in height and form (from left to right) Sammy
Like the work of Vincenzo Scamozzi and Inigo Jones in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,
Marks, State Theatre and
this dissertation is a unified mĂŠlange of presentation techniques offering a singular vision and (the
author) combines painting, projective geometry, perspective, photography and sketches into the
masses, interiors and structure of the proposed building. This allows (the author), by explorative
becomes an extension and expression of energy which takes place from within the
means, to understand and communicate a singularity and consistency of vision as well as its enduring contemporaneity (Lynn, 2004).
State Theatre. 8_proposed, individual spaces with different activities whilst spilling into one another. Each space defined through new and existing context. 9_multitude of activities, some grouped and some separated, yet functioning as a whole. 10_temporary urban furniture with ability to change and inspire movement by means of wind: lights on rods mimicking lilies in the wind. 11_surface treated with different materials; different functions i.e water floor, surface to dance etc. subtly interrupting one another 12_possible amphitheatre, sunken into base of Strijdom Square, which acts as termination point in hierarchy of levels.
The site is dominated by the sheer force of its surrounding context. The proposed structure must respond to the past, present, and proposed future of the site. Existing restrictions need to be broken down so that spaces may flow into one another and act as a whole. The structure will dislodge itself from time and be lucid, in terms of its ideals, to allure people and intrigue curiosity. The base plane must inspire movement to and from the site. The proposed accommodation requires ample space and owing to this aspect a large part of the structure will be submerged beneath the synthetic landscape.
New urban screens will be attached to parasitical structures and add a depth to the desolate western facade of the State Theatre. These will foremost act as a urban screen for digital projections and also as a reflective screen that will redirect light over the whole square during the late hours of the day. The primary structure is separated from its secondary functions which are accommodated below the base plane. These secondary functions could ideally make a subtle appearance above ground and also extend certain planes. Below: the animated box expresses the situation where confined planes break apart from one another and re-establish themselves. The Square acts as an enclosed space even though it is not, and it is essential and imperative that the surrounding facades respond and inspire activity from all directions. Each plane therefore must act as a singular source of energy that will open up onto the square.
The approach to and from Strijdom Square consists of a number of complex spaces where each one cascades down onto another. The first is the base of the ABSA Tower. It is suggested that the â€˜skirtâ€™ of this structure is lifted, so that it may act as a threshold to commuters who infiltrate the city from Sunnyside and along Van der Walt Street. The second, is Strijdom Square, which will respond in various subdivided spaces and functions ranging from public to semi-private to private. The third is the pedestrianized Church Street together with the new submerged amphitheatre and entrance to subterranean activity. Each is different and distinct in its own way and the objective is to create a public square which is defined by the variety stemming from the nuances demanded by each. The idea is to sense the movements of the proposed intervention and choreograph them according to the design intention.
The rhythmic interplay of geometry alludes to a multi-sensory aesthetic that will intensify the viewers experience.
The building is in stark contrast to its surroundings and seems as if it is hovering / extending out of the western facade of the State Theatre. It is not an isolated object but an extension of embedded energy which may be perceived as an entanglement of dancing movement which extends from the State Theatre. The structure inspires weightlessness, but through its gravitational down-force the space below the structure invokes the ‘heavy hovering’ so eloquently pictured in countless science fiction movies, that archetypal shot of a ‘extraterrestrial space ship’ landing on earth. Just before touching down the ‘spaceship’ stops briefly to rest motionless in mid-air, and in a final hesitant moment, the space between the earth and the UFO seems to vibrate vividly, as if being charged by the impending contact (Ruby, 2004). Verve_01 seems as if it is slowly sinking into its position from above, but instead of firmly connecting to the ground surface, it merely penetrates / elevates itself on stilts, and allows visual continuity with the immediate urban space.
Architecture does not spring from the ground; instead, it approaches it from above. And the closer it comes to the ground, the more the space at the surface is compressed (Ruby, 2004). Thus, as indicated above, the space below the proposed building will - be of importance-; and acts as an entrance to the subterranean levels.
p113-117_the following pre-configuration drawings express the interiority of the urban antechamber. The visitor is gradually led into an abysmal depth which houses a variety of commercial facilities and also provides access to the museum below, acting as a horizontal interface between the city and the museum. The explosion of space and structures into fragments which collide, intersect with, and bend into one another intensifies the spatial organization and articulation of that particular space.
[deconstructivism]_ The design is based on the superficial similarities that arise from fragmented and colliding geometries. Every element in this design contorts, as a 'surprised alien' of the 'unconscious of pure form' is released, and clearly it shares a commitment to Modernist principles of composition which include techniques associated more closely with painting. [deconstructed space]_ The structure begins to flirt with the possibilities of representing deconstructed space by the limitations of traditional tangible space. The play of straight and zig-zag lines,represents sudden illumination or destruction-, beginning to approximate the experience of deconstructed space.
outline of state theatre
concept model_ariel view
‘Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a Plato
charm to sadness and a life to everything’
‘If music be the food of life, play on’
(Shakespeare, Twelfth Night)
’A piece of music is not an answer. It's a stimulus. It leads you to thinking and feeling a certain way, which you wouldn't have done without that particular experience. If you go to a concert, and there's something genuine in the music it will grab you. You can listen to Schubert's Ave Maria and it's a beautiful, lyrical melody. It may be the type of music you are most familiar with. Or, you could listen to Pierre Boulez and other electronic music and wonder whether it's truly music. But if you really listen to it, to the structure of the music and the playfulness and the interplay of all the parts, that requires a higher degree of perceptiveness than a more familiar piece. The work has to hold up. Lebbeus Woods
There has to be something there that is immediately present’ (Flom, 2004)
Robert: (talks about Bob Marley) He had this idea, it was kind of a virologist’s idea. He believed that you can cure racism and hate, literaly cure it by injecting music and love into people’s lives. One day he was scheduled to perform at a peace rally. A gunman came to his house and shot him down. Two days later he walked on the stage and sang. Somebody asked him: ”why?” He said: ”the people who are trying to make this Robert Nevelle, played by Will Smith in the silverscreen
world worse are not taking the day off. How can I? Light up the darkness,” (Protosevich, 1995)
adaptation of ‘I am Legend’
Ludwig van Beethoven
‘Music is a higher revelation than music’ (Beethoven, Unknown)
Red Hot Chilly Peppers
‘music is my airplane’ (RHCP, Unknown)
Each of the following precedents are site specific, specific to the immediate needs of its
Pythagoras’s studies discovered that the Greek musical system could be expressed by
context and its people; they are interpretations of their embodied functions. They
a simple numeric progression and led the Greeks to believe they had found the key to
strongly communicate and adhere to aspects of its intent as NOX and Oosterhuis, NL
the mysterious harmony that pervades the universe. Plato later developed these
interpreted “water” in H2O eXPO Saltwaterpavilion on the Neeltje Jans in the
aesthetics of numbers into an aesthetics of proportion. Plato’s findings not only
Netherland. Water itself fluxes dramatically when exposed to high or low temperatures
contained the consonances of the Greek music scale but also expressed the harmonic
or change in hues when the sun or light strikes its surface at a perfect angle. One can
structure of his universe. Renaissance architects such as Vitruvios and Alberti applied
easily move into and out of it and the immediate connection will be when one dives into a
Pythagoras’ theory and developed an unbroken progression of ratios that formed the
body of water. As soon as one gets out of the water it will surely run from one’s skin,
basis for the proportions of their architecture. These series of ratios manifested
displacing two physical entities (being water and oneself), one’s skin will dry and be
themselves not only in the dimensions of a room or a facade, but also in the interlocking
entirely parted from that body of water in minutes. But, one can still recall its texture,
proportions of a sequence of spaces or an entire plan (Ching, 1996). Music is above all
temperature, taste, smell and feeling…The salt water pavilion is not a direct
extremely personal and will vary as much from one person to another, yet the
commonality of music itself is what indirectly connects with everybody. There is no
The same applies when one studies Zaha Hadid’s Music and Video Pavilion,
formal approach or guides to how one should interpret the emotional aspects of music in
Groningen in the Netherlands. A visitor will connect to this specific “stage” regarding two
built form and therefore one may argue that the building should form an interpretation
interpretation of water itself, but communicates its hypothesis to its visitors.
crucial aspects, audio and visual. Its build interpretation conveys a message of abstract
and expression which will allow its patrons to make their own connection. Music belongs
static. The form of the structure is perceived as a television set. The fragmented interior
to every one and no one. It has no physical shape nor body, colour, taste or smell but in
is in stark contrast with the structure’s exterior. The two aspects dramatize interaction
the same instant it evokes, intrigues, alleviates and fuels our emotions and thoughts.
between a person ready to turn on the television set, waiting to explore a land beyond. The interplay between the structure and an individual is as personal as that of the Saltwaterpavilion and allows its visitors to intimately connect and interpret by their own means.
Music is as simple as it is complex. Its complexities challenge emotional interpretation in built form. It can also be set out in terms as thinking with ones head and thinking with one’s heart. Music consists of two aspects, firstly its structure (thinking with one’s head), which forms the backbone and common language of music consisting of notes and musical scales which corresponds to simple integer proportions allowing a musician or composer to write, read and interpret music by means of an instrument. Secondly, it consists of the music itself which evokes emotion (thinking with ones heart). .
Music and Video Pavilion_ GRONINGEN_ the Netherlands
The aspirations behind the contemporary architecture of Zaha Hadid
-especially that of the music and video
pavilion- have contributed tremendously to the overall design of this dissertation. Her work exemplifies complexity of form which seems to be without joints, whilst smooth in its blending and synthesis. The pavilion responds to its immediate site and its composition unifies the surrounding context, while its poetics allows the structure to connect with a deeply held experience for those who witness it. The intention of the music-video pavilion was to create a playful place in one of the most challenging locations in the city. The site chosen is situated in a gap between the monumental A-Kerk and the Korenbeurs buildings in the Vismark district, like the â€œmonitorâ€? houses of New York's Fire Island - clapboard houses with huge plate-glass windows facing the ocean, which at night reveal lofty interiors. The design for this pavilion provides a window to the world in which people can be seen moving amid video imagery, becoming part of the performance. Trapped between two walls set one meter apart are decks which protrude into the glazed enclosure. Images are projected from the upper decks onto the mid-deck, onto translucent panels set into the glazed facade and onto the raised-ground finish beneath. lt takes a lot of money and effort to produce short video-slices of message and song, but the videos are insufficient on their own (Schumacher, 2004.)
West 8 situates itself in the longstanding functionalist and pragmatic tradition of the Dutch landscape of architecture. West 8 realizes that the trend towards individualization and the rising population density, mobility and welfare, implies a wholly new landscape use in the Netherlands. The distinction between town and country, in particular between town and nature, has become blurred. West 8 argues that the landscape should no longer be regarded as the counter form of the city, but as the entire configuration of town and country and the people who inhabit them. In West 8's view, the landscaped of parks and natural areas has a primarily ecological significance as suggested in the traditional. Romantic conception of landscape architecture rather than merely being a recompense for the stress-laden city dweller. The urban inhabitant is not â€œthe pitiful victim of the city who needs looking after and protecting in a gentle, green environmentâ€?(Lootsma, 2002).
Schouwburgplein, or Theatre Square, is located in the centre of Rotterdam. Surrounded by a municipal theatre, central station, restaurants, and a concert hall, it serves as an urban stage; a flexible open space that provides expansive views of the surrounding city skyline. Yet despite this prime location, Schouwburgplein was formerly a dead urban space; infrequently used, dreary, and dilapidated. Poor management and uninviting spatial arrangements were largely to blame.
Despite numerous public complaints, the real
instigator of the square's redevelopment was the adjacent construction of a large cinema. Constructed from 1991-1996, the redesign takes design cues from Rotterdams culture. There are four 35m tall hydraulic light masts that recall the giant shipping cranes of the ports. These giant light masts shine floodlights down upon the square, emphasizing the theatrical nature of the design. These lights are coin operated and invite the public to interact and change the character of the space. Contrasting bands of surface materials such as wood decking, heavy-duty rubber, epoxy flooring, and perforated metal panels emulate patterns of traditional Dutch agricultural fields. These changes in surface texture and tone also work with site furniture to divide the space into several zones. Eclectic combinations of materials and dramatic lighting create a sense of play that pervades the space. In order to emphasize the space as a stage, the square was elevated 35 centimeters above street level. Ventilation stacks from the parking garage are disguised as lighting structures that accommodate information and advertisements. Together these three towers form a digital clock (Schneider, 2006).
Schouwburgplein, or Theatre Square_ ROTTERDAM_ the Netherlands
In comparison to Schouwburgplein, Strijdom Square
At night, fluorescent lights and
and that it does not provoke uses
look like by the use of innovative
seems to be identical in nature, except for its location; one
LEDs illuminate the square,
that are un-programmed. Yet their
materials, and they have shown
creating a dazzling spectacle of
data is vague and comes from
that a park can be exciting and
changing colour and space. West
unattributable sources. They
vibrant without the use of plants
8â€™s decision to maintain the open
compare Schouwburgplein with a
expansiveness of this space as
generic concept of what a square
cannot help but notice their similarities in constraints, history and context between the two sites. Schouwburgplein has strongly influenced - and provided a set of guidelines of how to coincide with the spirit of - the
well as the use of dramatic lighting
should be, yet fail to consider the
overall design intention. Schouwburgplein is a Place. It
helps this square stand up against
contextual environment in which
provides a setting for containment and appropriation: it is
the large scale architecture
the square exists.
a form of possession, an occupied territory; it is a lived
space. It is a body-centred context, and provides a point of view and a reference point for the people of Rotterdam.
In the end, the space provides a
The organization, Project for
vibrant, playful, and flexible
Public Spaces, argues that the
outdoor venue for the city. The
square only attracts users when
designers have challenged the
activities are explicitly organized,
idea of what an urban park should
The form gene underlying the saltwater pavilion's shape is an octagonal, faceted ellipse which gradually transmogrifies into a guadrilateral along a three-dimensional curved path. Along that path the volume is first inflated and then deflated again to form the sharply cut nose. The body juts out 12 meters over the inland sea of the Oosterschelde. The Saltwater Pavilion is also a sculpture which is fashioned in more complex geometries. The public scrutinize it merely by looking at it and form an image of their own, strictly personal, laws and rules. And because of this selfsufficiency of form as interpreted by the independent observer, the saltwater pavilion is suddenly and simultaneously a hundred different things: a stranded whale, a paramecium, a sea cucumber, a submarine, a speedboat, a tadpole (with silver tail), a solidified droplet, a wave, a stealth bomber. In the sensorium one experiences numerous kinds of virtual representations of water. In the underworld there is real water, in the sensorium, virtual water. The five curved lines that stretch from one pole to the other correspond to the outer lines of the building body. Multicoloured fibre optic cables following these lines illuminate the sensorium from behind the polycarbonate interior skin. In both poles there is a set of red lights which are controlled by the public through a sensor board immersed in the hydra. By pressing the interface one can activate the poles and make them glow in bright
red colours. The colour and dimming sequences of the fibres are controlled by a series of sensorial
In Oosterhuis’ design for the salt-water section of the H2O eXPO
simplistic geometry of cube, sphere, cylinder and cone as the basic
Pavilion the whole building was conceived as an organism that is
elements of architecture (Lootsma, 2002).
connected to what happens inside and outside it, a node in space.
parameters The ever changing colour conditions
Oosterhuis questions the distinctions between nature and culture.
from behind the transparent
People visiting the saltwater part of the pavilion are assailed by
inner skin are experienced as a form of light massage.
veritable floods of water, and seem at certain moments to be
walking through an artificial underwater world. Oosterhuis writes,
immersive soundscape is experienced by the public.
“we no longer think of the ‘artificial’ and the ‘natural’ in antithetical
The amplifiers are absorbed
terms. We regard the omnipresent artificial world, the global
in the skin of the body and of the floor membrane. It feels as if the building itself makes the sounds. The building is an organism at work. An array of speakers makes it possible for the sound to move dynamically through the sensorial space. The sensorium sound and lightscapes vary from crisp to lucid, and from lethargic to furious (Pettered, 2002)
synthetic systems, as one immense complex organism”. The behavior of the pavilion is not controlled purely by preprogrammed algorithms; it reacts to visitors' movements and fluctuations in the environments. A weather station continuously measures wind speed and water levels in the vicinity of the pavilion and transmits this data to a computer system, which then uses it to calculate an 'emotive factor' in turn influencing the systems that control sound and light within the pavilion. The building hosts a continual game of real and virtual environments, situations that merge seamlessly into one another with the building extending into virtual space. The
Climbing out of the underworld you walk towards a panoramic view of the surrounding Oosterschelde Sea. This is mostly blocked by the inflatable airbag. The closing and opening of the airbag is controlled by a central computer and plays a role in the choreography of the saltwater pavilion. After the view of the seascape one turns, following the course of the lemniscate, and steps onto the wave-shaped floor membrane into the sensorium. The torsive membrane separates the underwater world (wetlab) from the weather world (sensorium). The saltwater pavilion feeds on data from a maritime board unit. The raw data is digested and converted to midi-driven impulses which conduct the mixing tables of both the light and sound environments. The saltwater pavilion is a body in time. It displays a real-time behaviour, calculating with the speed of light its personal emotive factor. This emotive factor is translated into a responsive biorhythm (Oosterhuis, 1997).
complexity of all that is happening is so great that the pavilion seems to be alive. The saltwater pavilion has evolved from the very beginning of the design process as a three-dimensional computer model. The delineation of the form is laid down in the digital genes of the design that hold the germ of life. The first idea is the genetic starting point for all subsequent steps in the development. No
Oosterhuis. NL longer should one accept the domination of platonic volumes, the
A specific approach to this dissertation involves the poetics of architecture. In this
H2O eXPO Saltwaterpavilion_ Neeltje Jans _ the Netherlands particular precedent and the one that follows both express this specific approach. The poetics of these structures concentrates on the depth of meaning/ sublime and elevated effects of light and colour which are able to move one in their beauty. Both buildings connect with a deeply held experience for those who visit them. The poetry of architecture is reflected in their structures and vocabulary of devices. If poetry is a way of moving through language, in which repetition, juxtaposition, and rhythms are used to create emotion, then these buildings have most certainly created similar effects. 129
Liquid architecture_the building is conceived as a dynamic system within which there is a constant, computer-mediation. The term 'liquid' describes the capabilities of digital media as it encompasses many aspects of the digital environment. Liquid substances are changeable and exhibit complex behaviour. The applications of fluidity to the fixed built environment might seem practically impossible. Liquid architecture goes a step further to the integration of the fluidity of computer processes to actual building structure. In Water Pavilion this creates a hybrid medium and built environment that are intelligent. Interaction between users, environment and building. None of the floors and walls of the building are straight; they bend and melt around each other. The building reacts to the movement of people and this triggers changes in the media. The Water Pavilion has added to the understanding of how the sensory properties of water are evoked. The introduction of mutability into buildings is a fundamentally new development (Schwartz, 1999).
Diving into virtual extension
On both the surface of the wave-floor and the interior polycarbonate skin of the sensorium you are immersed in the projections of a series of virtual worlds _ they all depict different perceptions of water and fluidity. . The worlds are generated by two SGI-o2 computers and projected by six 1000 lumen high-resolution data projectors through small openings in the transparent skin _ the worlds are navigated by the public through an interface which is merged into one loop of the hydra (Oosterhuis, 1997).
H2O eXPO Saltwaterpavilion_ Neeltje Jans _ the Netherlands
The h20 pavilion is a permanent exhibition facility erected on Neeltjie Jans,
The six worlds are: 1) ice _ the navigator moves slowly in between even slower sliding icy masses
an artificial island made to aid construction of the Schelde flood barrier. NOX designed the pavilion dedicated to freshwater. The form of the building is as fluid as the interior. The visitor is confronted with the liquidity of water in
_ 2) h2o _ swarms of h2o molecules at three different speeds. The navigator travels with the swarm and tries to ride on one of the molecules
countless ways: the water flows and boils, there is mist and condensation,
_ 3) life _ intelligent sea creatures float in a virtual sea. Some of them are very shy
and some parts of the walls are so cold that a layer of ice builds up. The _ 4 ) blob _ a fluid mass elastic like chewing-gum is constantly deforming while the
interior also contains sound and light effects, including projections of the molecular structure of water and wave patterns by using light-sensitive
navigator floats around and through it.
cells, touching sensors or operating handles. NOX's pavilion possesses a comparable integration of architecture and media, but they are so
_ 5) flow _ the navigator is captured in the flow of a whirlpool. The only way is to go with the flow
structurally integrated that one can scarcely speak of architecture or interior. Rather, it is an all embracing situation, an event space on the theme of â€œwaterinessâ€?, through which visitors must find their own way. The H2O eXPO Pavilion is a multimedia tribute to the traditions of the 1960s and
_ 6) morph _ two slowly shaping skyscrapers capture the navigator . Because of the extreme wide-angle view, the clouds seem to rush by . The virtual worlds are direct extensions of the physical building (Oosterhuis, 1997).
1970s, when Marshall McLuhan saw ideal opportunities for people to learn and cope with the sensory bombardment of new media (Lootsma, 2002).
Chosen as a precedent, not for its design or architectural resolution, but for how the building bleeds / extends into outdoor programme, and the variety of activities it accommodates, the building has no immediate context, and thus, any approach to the resolution could have been taken as long as it adhered to the programme. The fragmentation and dispositioning of structures, and how the topography had an overall impact on the design is investigated, but through the impact of previous precedents, this particular approach and the use of peculiar elements as graphic intent seem inappropriate for this dissertation.
North Carolina Museum of Art
The Master Plan for the North
can picnic and explore the art within
On a functional level, The Textualized Landscape comprises performance stage, movie screen, and
gathering spaces for assorted museum activities. Structures associated with these activities include The
programmatic investigation and
A collaborative effort by
Big Roof, supported on a series of walking columns and a single truss over The Big Stage, a 12.2m by
critique of contemporary conditions
architects, landscape architects,
8.3m concrete performance platform; the projection booth, a plywood box on a steel frame 3.7m above
of twentieth-century art and
and an artist best known for working
grade; The Big Screen, a 9.1m by 8.3m movie screen attached to the original museum building; an
landscape, and their relationship to
with aphoristic text, this project
electricaI back-building; the Amphitheatre; and the Outdoor Cinema. These are the fundamental
a 68-hectare site in Raleigh, North
master plan entitled “lmperfect
elements: archetypal, prosaic, and functional. The scale ranges from intimate to vast, designed to
Carolina.The textualized Landscape
Utopia”: A Park for the New World
accommodate a single soul in a contemplative frame of mind, a crowd of several thousand to watch a
melds the concepts of spectacle,
has transformed a drab, ruraI
movie on The Big Screen, and anything in between. More significant are the simple words "PICTURE
site, and text into a public space
landscape adjacent to the North
THIS" in capitals large enough to be read from the sky. While the letters are all the same size, they are
which expands the museum's
Carolina Museum of Art, a 1960s
made in different materials, colours, textures, and depths, lending them sculptural qualities that infuse
capacity for outdoor programs.
building by Edward Durrell Stone
Kruger's typically flat, irony-laden aphorism with an architectural richness enhanced by assorted
. Engaging ideas of history, culture,
into The Textualized Landscape.
messages called from local history and contained within each letter. Some, like the second T serve a
geography and topography, this
This multimedia site takes the notion
structural purpose, housing bathrooms, storage, and a concession booth beneath an overlook. The
public space provides an accessible
of landscape art in to an original new
second letter I, a sloping seating area for the Big Screen, is imprinted with the North Carolina state motto:
place for a variety of experiences in
direction_ one that rejects the
To Be Rather Than To Seem, which takes on decidedly different interpretations in this context. Every letter
received notions of outdoor art as it
has its meaning, as the site playfully yet profoundly examines the paradoxical relationships of text and
Joseph M. Bryan, Jr. Theatre: A
usually relates to art museums. "We
texture, word and image, near and far, language, landscape, and structure. It makes a great place to
500-seat outdoor theatre, with lawn
were . . . working against the 'plaza
watch movies or performances as well. Materials form another level of meaning. Rather than build with
seating for 2 000 patrons, opened in
plop' idea of art in the landscape,"
traditional outdoor sculptural materials such as marble or bronze, the oddly built assortment of structures,
April 1997. The facility, which spells
notes architect Laurie Hawkinson.
including letters, sheds, fences, and roofs, all out of locaI vernacular materials like the corrugated tin
out the phrase “PICTURE THIS” in
"We wanted to bring people outside
commonly used to roof tobacco barns, along with aluminum, steel, cinder blocks, painted plywood,
240m long letters, hosts outdoor
to explore this indigenous
concrete, asphalt, and chain-link fencing. Quirky and compelling, the installation extends the museum
films and musical performances,
into the outdoors, drawing attention to its regional and cultural context and infusing it with contemporary
and features an area where visitors
Carolina Museum of Art involves a
( S m i t h - M i l l e r,
energy, while testing and dissolving the boundaries between art, architecture, and landscape design
The reader should take note, due to the exigencies of graphic presentation and
readability, North is always orientated to the bottom of the page.
1_ABSA Towers 2_State Theatre 3_urban screen 4
4_Verve_01 5_Church Street 6_Van der Walt Street 7_existing fountain 8_urban landscape
9_amphitheatre 6 5
The process of design
_urban base plan
This chapter communicates in a graphical way how Verve_01 is derived through the means of
careful analysis - referring to all previous chapters - of issues that influence the solution. The needs have been identified, prototypical solutions have been evaluated, while new approaches have been considered, and to some extent implemented. This design process is one of synthesis. Optimal designs for different issues are combined in an attempt to meet the given objectives. The development comprises various compilations of diagrammatic sketches, graphic planning and sections, architectural modeling and montages which express, and explore issues of context, the site and its history. A study of new technologies, materials and methods of structure allows the schematic design to be converted into detailed plans and specifications for the building construction.
Archispeak helps to communicate by means of specialized language to communicate the author's design ideas.
These selected architectural jargons are accompanied with small iconic illustrations - with direct relationship to the design -, .
which help to orientate the reader.
_anchoring: describes the physical and
metaphysical rooting of Verve_01 and its
Verve_01 derives its animated spirit through
to give life or make lively.
_boundary: refers to the interface between
elements distinguish the parts that constitute
two or more places which demarcates both
surrounding context. Elements such as
its form and space which are very dynamic.
the whole, especially at the points of
separation and connection. It is found in and
staircases â€œstitchâ€? together the ground and
The structure seems to be either exploding or
connection. The role of each of the
among the pavilion where each space is
building. The columns of the pavilion seem to
imploding into itself and it creates the illusion
constituted elements in the design becomes
defined and limited, distinct from the rest of
spring from the earth to hold up -hold down - a
of frozen movement (frame capturing) when
accentuated. The pavilionâ€™s articulation relies
the spaces and having its own cosmos and
structure that belongs to the sky. Colour also
viewed in a fixed position, but when a viewer
upon its strategic breaks in the continuity of its
. . .
serves as a rooting device, especially the
moves around the structure it seems as if a
expression. The articulation also exists in the
Strijdom Square and its boundaries,
colour red, for having a significant impact on
multitude of frames overlap with one another
integrity of elements and materials and how it
including that of Sammy Marks Square,
the site i.e. shootings where 13 people lost
as if it was a short film sequence.
is maintained at their point of connection.
defines both micro and macro worlds.
their lives and Blood Fountain by artist
These connections and junctions between
Opposed to site boundaries, which
two building components demand an extreme
demarcate the extent of physical territory,
sensitivity to detailed design.
visual boundaries are limited by the acuity of
Steven Holl proposes that the metaphysical or poetic anchoring is more appropriate to
ones eyes. This boundary moves with
modern day life (Porter, 2004). Thus,
oneself, as one moves through space; its
Verve_01 creates a more profound
dynamic dramatically expanding and
connection that evokes thought and memory
contracting in direct response to the physical
through its architectural inscription of
edges of the square's spatial containment or
historical traces on Strijdom Square.
its release in the surrounding mass.
_complexity: deals with intricacy, elaboration,
_disjunction: as associated with the writings
_interaction: occurs when the urban dweller
_memory: concerns the architectural
_tectonics: refers to the art and science of
convolution and multiplicity –characteristics
of Bernard Tschumi, disjunction questions the
engages in an abstract or in physical sense
embodiment of past objects and events. All
construction. Since the end of the nineteenth
of Verve_01 that are dynamically opposed to
tra d i ti o n a l a rch i te ctu ra l se a rch fo r
with the building. Interactions are a dialogue
awareness of the past is founded in memory,
century, the primacy of tectonics in
straightforwardness, uncomplication and the
accentuation of unity, harmony and synthesis
and interchange, and refer to an input –
remembering the past being crucial for our
establishing the poetic basis or architecture
obvious. According to Venturi, complexity is
in favour of a “post-humanist” stance that
output alternation of cause and effect. The
sense of identity. The manifestation of
has been challenged by an increased
loaded with ambiguity (such as double-
disrupts coherent architectural form and
extension of the intervention with Verve_01 is
architecture can itself provide a kind of
emphasis on architecture as space, and on
functioning building elements) and
challenges the principles of its composition.
an interest in the kinaesthetic aspects of its
knowledge through which the past remains
art and literature as sources of inspiration
contradiction (such as disjunction between
Therefore, disjunction is the attempt to
architectural experience, a preoccupation
accessible; this accounts for the significance
interior and exterior), as well as contrast,
deconstruct the traditional components of
that finds an echo in its elasticated, sculptural
of memory in design. Memories of the past
Verve_01 aspires to a musical tectonic which
tension and paradox (Porter, 2004).
architecture for their painstaking reassembly
elements within and among the building.
can be woven into the fabric of buildings
is interpreted into built form,
. Therefore, Verve-01's multiplicity of
into a new kind of architecture (Porter, 2004).
through materials and architectural and
symbiotic relationship with the language of
meaning and content of the building involves
historical reference (Porter, 2004).
music and its complexity are reflected in the
both the real and the abstract. It (complexity)
materials –some high tech, modern and
usually responds to intricate programmes
rather than a need for “easy unity” and of an exclusive expression which allows opposites and a doctrine of “both and” (rather than “either or”) to coexist.
Case study_Jason Bruges:
JBâ€™s Studio creates installations, sculptures and environments that focus on interaction with the individual and the environment. His installations are site-specific, interactive and use innovative media such as selfilluminating light technology or light projection. These respond dynamically through sensors to a range of stimuli. (Bruges, 1997)
. Verve_01 strongly relates to the above
mentioned, and there is a dire need that the building resonates post activity after human activity have ceased, even though the city life sombrely returns to its dormant state at night. These available and innovative technologies acts as an interface. It allows each urban dweller to connect and interact with its immediate surroundings.
Switched On London_Pool of London .
M+P Event _Portal, London
8th-16th February 2007
Mackay & Partners
Commissioned for the first Switched On
London lighting festival, in the Pool of
Temporary Light Installation at Mackay and
installations for the Puerta America Hotel.
This installation consisted of a back
Working in collaboration with architect
Partners event in the Portal restaurant.
Using Bluetooth sensors, the movement of
One of two ground breaking interactive
individuals carrying active Bluetooth devices
projection on to a smoke screen to create an
Kathryn Findlay, the interactive installations
will be captured on London Bridge. The
abstract view of activity within the restaurant.
are the only integrated artworks created for
information is then transmitted across the
the hotel and will be a permanent part of the
Pool of London to the high level walkways on
8th floor lobby and corridors. Memory Wall
Tower Bridge, where a dynamic band of light
shown here is integrated into the lobby space
displays the activity for all to see.
and interacts with individuals passing by. Switched On London 08_London Bridge February 08.
A temporary installation of autonomous lights, waited silently for pedestrians to cross London Bridge. On the pavement where people leave only footprints, for the duration of the festival they left coloured light â€œshadowsâ€? as evidence of their passing. The artwork intended to reawaken commuters, encouraging them to be aware once more of the marvel of crossing the Thames on their way to work.
Wind to Light_Southbank Centre.
Collaboration with OneDotZero and Light Lab for Architecture Week 2007.
The theme for 2007 was, How Green Is Our Space? and focused on critical issues of climate change and sustainability, with the aim of inspiring people to think creatively about the spaces around them.
Wind to Light was an idea that visualized wind movement across the built form with the use of mini turbines and LEDs.
Interactive Dado Rail_Three Ways
Morely Fund Management
The concept for this artwork is an interactive
A large scale integrated public artwork for
dado rail. As pupils run their hands over the
Broadwick House which recalls the activity of
sculpted surface, it creates various sounds,
the building and its occupants through .
such as running oneâ€™s hands along railings. At
animated light panels.
the same time, it generates changing patterns
During a working day, the lifts rise and fall,
of light within its surface.
open and close, carrying workers from floor to floor. At night, the building sleeps and the lifts lie at rest.
Recall records these nuances of movement CGL Architects_London
of the lifts by day and recalls them at night as
George Michael_Venues across Europe
a kinetic artwork in amber light, in keeping
An interactive lighting installation for CGL
with Broadwick House architect Richard
architects. Taking on the theme of process,
Rogers Partnership's philosophy of a 24 hour
Interactive position tracking with sound
the studio created two complementary art
reactive visuals for Georgeâ€™s 25 Live Tour, his
installations for the summer party of Child Graddon Lewis architects.
first for 15 years.
In collaboration with U2 lighting designer
Using a combination of camera inputs, colour
Willie Williams, Jason Bruges Studio
lights and caustic projections, an immersive
designed a system to produce interactive
environment was created which responding
visuals for George Michael. The singer
to the guests.
wanted movement tracking and generative visuals controlled by his voice and other instruments for a range of songs within the set list. 139
One of Verve_01's objectives is to encourage rapid development through its animated spirit. The structure and its uses and applications of materials vary significantly and are subjected to change, just as music will change and develop with time.
Smart substances, intelligent interfaces, and sensory surfaces are redefining the environments in which we live. This insert acts as a summary, and outlines new development within the field of innovative materials. It has a direct impact on Verve_01,
and inspires its future of interior and exterior
Iron X_By Donati Group
Cuoioareddo_By Cuoificio Bisonte
3d Veneer_By Reholz
Twisted metal shapes, ultra-light, monolithic
Used as floor covering, Cuoioareddo tiles are
Fine wood veneer can be shaped into three-
elements which are perceived as if they were
made from the central, uniform thick section
dimensional forms (waves, hemispheres and
moulded. In fact, they are not moulded but
of top-quality bison hides. The slow tanning
so forth) without cracking or breaking. This
Every great artwork projects human values
welded according to an exceptional method
and dyeing process, which takes place in
incredible flexible, lightweight veneer is
and carries emotional content, generating
developed by the Donati Group.
drums, produces strong, cured leather that
available in several varieties, including
. . .
invisible shockwaves that can be felt even
The company relies on this technology to
improves over time. Cut into squares and
beech, maple, oak, and walnut. Although the
after the works are no longer on view. Such
make all sorts of shapes (polyhedral,
mounted onto wood backings, the leather is
possibilities seem endless, current
kinaesthetic experiences can be triggered
curvilinear, asymmetrical and helicoids) from
transformed into floor tiles that are easy to lay
applications target the design of furniture,
today by interactive artworks, created
nothing more than rolled sheet metal.
mouldings, as well as diverse edgings and
through the application of technological
A wide range of metals can be used and
As the tiles age, they will acquire a distinctive
surfaces; maximum dimensions of the panels
processes and sophisticated materials.
includes steel, aluminium, copper, titanium
LiTraCon is finely structured concrete
patina. Marks and variations in colour are not
are 980mm x 2000mm (MateriO, 2006).
Information technology, ephemeral devices,
etcetera, the potential applications are
pierced by thousands of glass or plastic
defects, but proof of the natural origins of the
lasers, intangible acoustics, and even
manifold: furniture, doors, bookshelves, work
fibres. The material is both hard and
product. Sizes range from 200mm x 200mm,
explosive materials, transform energy and
boards, dividers, partitions, street furniture,
translucent. The fibres, which are embedded
and 500mm x 500mm. colours are natural,
vibrations into tangible forms (Beylerian, and
architecture, and the list goes on...
crosswise in concrete blocks, allow light to
5B, rust, brown, green, red, black and testa di
pass through any structure made of these
moro. Fire resistant tiles can be supplied on
blocks â€“ even one that is several meters
request (MateriO, 2006).
thick. Because fibres make up only 5% of the building material, LiTraCon blocks are quite similar, technically and structurally, to traditional concrete blocks. LiTraCon walls are ideal for filtering natural light into windowless spaces (MateriO, 2006).
MDF_Medium Density Fibreboard
Mirror Floor_By Janvic
MDF has been on the market for numerous
Look into the depths of Mirror Floor and catch
Perceived as large sheets of crumpled paper,
years. This material has smoother surfaces
a glimpse of your reflection. Walking across
these concrete panels (2,5m x 1m) each
and edges than particle board.
this floor is like venturing onto the smooth
weigh 40kg. These panels are waterproof,
CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled)
surface of a pool, without a ripple in sight.
frost and fire resistant, and their distinctive
enables the creation of organically shaped,
Available in different colours, motifs (flakes
surface texture is ideal for the creation of
sculpted surfaces. CNC routing is accurate
for example) and effects (such as the “depth
unique building facades. Available colours
up to 0.13mm, and allows for edge-to-edge
effect”), Mirror Floor is a highly prized
are white and black (MateriO, 2006).
mounting of two panels with near perfect
addition to interior design. Although a little
alignment. This product and process offers a
maintenance is required, the effect is worth
broad variety of patterns, materials, finishes
the effort (MateriO, 2006).
and installation options; in addition to MDF
Nanogel_By Cabot Nanogel, also known as Blue Smoke, is a
panels, HDF (High Density Fibreboard), solid
feather-light silicon aerogel. This solid,
wood, and cast acrylic sheets may be used
translucent, blue tinged substance is 97%
(Beylerian, and Dent, 2007).
vacuum and 3% amorphous silicon. Initial, highly specialized applications limited the product mainly to the aerospace industry. Due to its exceptional sound-insulation properties, however, a granulated form of Nanogel is a currently providing successful in the field of architecture. Sandwiching
Thermosensitive Material_Visual Reference
Nanogel between two panes of glass
multiplies the degree of insulation offered by
Synthetic snakeskin, suedes and other
such double glazing by as much as four
leather look-alike materials are encapsulated
with thermosensitive crystals which respond
The light that filters through is soft and
to heat, whilst leaving a thermo-imprint on the
homogeneous, making the product
material. These material are draped over
particularly suited to museum settings.
purpose made wall-panels and furniture, and
Nanogel is stable, extremely fire-resistant
are used for interior purposes only. It is also
substance that does not react to UV light or
advised that the materials is not exposed to
humidity. Density: 90g/litre (MateriO, 2006).
direct sunlight as it may damage the thermosensitive crystals.
Colour: Black at room temperature changes with body heat to shades of brown, green, and blue. Other colour options include red changing to violet, and mauve changing to purple.(Gonçalves and Hayne, 2007).
Facades determine the appearance of a building. Hence, they constitute a major element in architecture. At the same time, the building envelope has an important function to fulfill, such as lighting, waterproofing, thermal insulation, load transfer and sound insulation.
Currently, facades have become increasingly complex. In context with Verve_01, these case studies have had a direct impact on its design and resolution. It is imperative to study, understand and apply these
such as double facades, transparent facades
The architectural concept envisioned a
and materialâ€™ specific facade construction.
homogeneous sheet-metal facade, which,
Please see Chapter 11, for authorâ€™s
during technical realization, underwent a
examples, for the building has made use of these principles. Verve_01 focuses on topics
metamorphosis to a multi-layered rearventilated facade with embedded rain drainage and spillway (Knaack, 2007).
a b c
1997 Its uninterrupted facades consist of load bearing steel construction which divides the free geometric shape into segmented geometric surfaces. Both the internal and external facades are mounted to the structure in an ultimately free form. By dividing the facade into an inner layer, the functional load bearing layer, and an exterior sealing layer,
The free-form metal facade comprises three
the complex load bearing structure could be
hidden inside the facade, maintaining the
Internal Layer_a/ a free-form sectional beam
pure outer shape.
layer is mounted on top of a load bearing
building junctions: solving the geometry
structure and is covered with gypsum
implementation of a facade system without
modifying the structural system of the post-
Functional Layer_b/ includes a load bearing
and-beam facade (Knaack, 2007).
structure on the building's I-shaped and circular sections, which varies in thickness depending on the requirements by the load bearing structure or the geometry of the building. External Layer_c/ comprising a substructure, which follows the free-form of the exterior envelope exactly. The substructure is clad with scale-shaped titanium or natural stone sheets. This layer also comprises the thermal insulation (Knaack, 2007).
Jay Pritzker Pavilion_Millenium
Park_Chicago Frank_O_Gehry 2004 Free-form surface supported by a substructure and small surface elements. Today: on free-form facades, there is still no solution to translate digitally created free-form shapes into equally free-form structures â€“ such planes continue to be dissected into The transparent facade is based on a postand-beam structure, which holds the glass panes with a coverstrip. This structure is mounted on an interior load bearing steelsection substructure which transfers the loads onto the overall system. In the areas where the geometry could not be segmented into rectangular and even planes, the glass panes were placed diagonally without attaching the coverstrip (Knaack, 2007).
geometric surfaces, which still need to be
Polyurethane panel cladding
supported by substructures, or are
Polyurethane panels are not typically used as
assembled from numerous small elements.
facade material. Various colours are available
Producing free-form facade components
which include red, blue, green, yellow etc.
directly from digitally created design is still a
These colours articulate the idea of a
vision of the future (Knaack, 2007).
building's costume. Typically such colours are not possible with conventional cladding materials. The facades comprise staggered horizontal polyurethane panels that are jointed with permanent elastic sealant. The substructure of lathing and counter-lathing as well as the ventilation elements in the roof area provide for rear-ventilation. Corner details show the solution to jointing the panels - they do not overlap, but are jointed along all sides with permanent elastic sealant to maintain the box-like appearance of the building (Knaack, 2007).
Verve_01 spatial diagrams These diagrams depict initial spatial layouts. These layouts with their assigned functions - as the author anticipated- have changed/ shifted in levels and on plan, but their general intent has not been altered. This is mainly due to the allocation and grouping of complex activities - such as services, access, ventilation and various other accommodations that are found within the design criteria of museum design.
Due to the complexity and vast programme of Verve_01, a series of exploded models – exploring possibilities i.e. proposed function, material, structural integrity (if any) and its impact on site - was built to understand each building element on its own, and indirectly the building as a whole.
The author suggests that one should imagine layering each model on top of one another – applying the technique of animation by filming successive positions of these models to create an illusion of movement when the
film is shown in sequence - starting from above, and ever so slightly moving frame by frame into the subterranean levels.
verve_01 22 models
This specific approach is used as an analysis tool that allows for the evaluation of alternative approaches and the prediction of good initial designs / concepts.
[each photo]_the context: The State Theatre to left, ABSA Tower to right, with Van der Walt Street to far right -indicated by means of stipple lines - and Strijdom Square indicated through prominent axonometric square footprint.
_synthetic landscape _hierarchy of spaces, gradually flowing into one another. The ‘skirt’ - first 3 levels
10 _access to amphitheater via. square
_urban screens for projections and solar control
_amphitheatre and access to subterranean levels and music
_ urban screens for surrounding spaces
of ABSA Towers opened up- to be lifted, and act as urban foyer _ urban furniture: carbon fibre rods / lights jumping jet fountains
8 _Structure: skeletal sculptural elevated _study in tectonics and form: exploding / imploding structure _extensionalism of embodied activity of the State Theatre
_expression of linear movement _configurations of columns anchoring the elevated structure to the square
17 _ watertable
_administration / ablution facilities
_entrance to subterranean levels /
_extension of sculptural fountain above into subterranean levels acting as structural / service core
_existing concrete columns
15 _auditorium / cinema;100 seats _exhibition space: 4 levels
22 _zig-zag wall and visual curtain.
behind curtain: accommodation
includes:_recording studios _raised base-plan with spanish stairs _soundscapes _storage _security/ service yard _texturized digital skin _a/ administration with secured access _b/ cinematographic skin for projections _c/ lucid dream projections among
access ramps to various levels
level_0 urban baseplane 1_urban screen
2_zig-zag surface up-light 3_existing fountain 4_carbon fibre rods / lights
jumping jet fountains 5_access ramp to structure above
6_amphitheatre 7_entrance to music museum
10_elevator 11_surface up-lights 12_columns
13_outline of structure above 14_new restaurants and
small commercial entities 15_ramp above
10 9 15
8 1 7 a
Yellow. By author. Mixed media on tracing paper. 2008. Graphic expression of base plan
Yellow 2. By author. Mixed media on cartridge. 2008. panoramic_eastern view
level_1 urban projections 1_urban screen 16 2_access ramp to urban 1
projections 3_entrance 4_reception 5_open plan office 6_projection room 7_sound lock
8_storage 9_equipment / restoration room 10_film archive 11_kitchen 12_wc 13_elevator
14_staircase 15_access ramp to State Theatre
16_new restaurants and
small commercial entities
level_02 radio broadcasting 1_urban screen 2_entrance 3_reception 4_waiting area 5_open plan office 6_sound lock 7_archive / hardcopy and digital mainframe 8_broadcasting studio 9_control room 10_balcony 11_kitchen
10 8 Red. By author. Mixed
media on tracing paper. 2008. Graphic expression of building above ground level
Red 2. By author. Mixed media on cartridge. 2008. panoramic_northern view
Blue. By author. Mixed media on tracing paper. 2008. Graphic expression of subterranean levels / music museum
1 17 4
20 14 16
13 26 21
11 9 level_-1 8
1_existing staircase as
emergency exit 7
installation / skin 6_access ramp 7_entrance to music
2 8_museum shop / Apple Store 9_reception / information 10_administration 11_access: lift 12_access: staircase and ramp via. underground arcade from Standard Bank Centre 13_existing arcade retail 14_tripple volume 15_existing basement parking below ABSA Tower
level_-3 27_foyer 28_soundscapes 29_wc 30_access: ramp / staircase
31_auditorium / cinema
31 30 27
16_digital control room /
computer mainframe 33_reflective water table
17_access: elevator 34_spanish steps
18_secure storage / safe 35_interactive position
19_loading / service yard
tracking / digital screen
Blue 2. By author. Mixed media on cartridge. 2008. panoramic_western view
and boardroom on each level
service core with kitchenette, wc
bridge to connect twith state theatre
western facade of state theatre
urban screen with new retail, and additions to existing
radio broadcasting studio
urban projections / cinematography studio
entrance to museum and subterranean levels
western facade of state theatre
urban screen with new retail, and additions to existing
ABSA Tower’s ‘skirt’ lifted
existing basement parking
landing / access to
cinema / auditorium
link to existing arcade
Apple Retail and Museum Shop
11 4_facade construction
2_walkway / ramp and handrail
detail 1_facade construction
-4_exhibition and recording studios
-3_exhibition and soundscapes
and service yard,
-2_exhibition, link to arcade, cinema / auditorium
-1_museum entrance and shop
to absa tower and state theatre
0_strijdom square with alterations and additions
level 2_radio broadcasting
The process of design
Re-construction. By author.
Mixed media on canvas.
2008. Exploration of the
site and urban framework
with the ‘space ship’ /
Verve_01 approaching the
ground. When the building
‘lands’, it will become a
prime manoeuver of
architecture, and the
dualism of figure and
ground will start to falter.
street van der walt
1_State Theatre 2_ABSA Tower 3_new entrance and parkade to link with existing basement parking beneath ABSA Tower and State Theatre 4_Sammy Marks Centre 5_Standard Bank Centre 6_Strjidom Square 7_Sammy Marks Square 8_Verve 01
floor plan_ accommodation
Accessed by means of staircase and lift via level_0. The music
2_access: staircase / ramp
broadcasting studio consists of a reception area, an open plan office,
a digital mainframe and hardcopy library. The two broadcasting
studios are connected with a control room (which caters for both) .
Also allocated is a small kitchen, wcâ€™s, and boardroom. There are
balconies leaning out to the north and east of the building.
7_open plan offices 8_boardroom 9_kitchen 10_wc 11_sound lock 12_control room 13_broadcasting studio 14_music archive / computer
existing rehearsal studios: a / group (max. 5 people) b / solo c / group (max. 10 people) d / group (max. 20 people) 25_ existing access: ramp 26_existing entrance to ‘Stage Door’
level 1_access: ramp
floor plan_ accommodation
Accessed as previously mentioned by an additional ramp which
allows for access from Strijdom Square. The cinematographic
3_access: staircase / ramp
projection studio is directly linked with the first floor of the State
Theatre by means of a bridge. The open planned level consists of a
reception area, and an open plan office: for the use of a
cinematographic team which digitally repairs and archives local and
international films. The studio contains an ‘in house’ theatre /
8_open plan offices
screening room which allows pre-screenings of selected films which
will be showcased on the digital urban screens. The projection room
- with a space for restoration and storage of equipment - faces the
ABSA Tower and acts as a visual link for live performances. The
accommodation also includes a kitchenette, wc’s, and boardroom.
There are balconies leaning out to the north and east of the building.
The film archive allows for storage of private collections and films
produced by Verve_01.
16_balcony 17_access: bridge via 1st floor of .
18_urban screen 19_existing balcony: State Theatre 20_existing access: lifts / staircase 21_existing entrances to Grand
Opera Auditorium 22_existing wc’s 23_existing back stage 24_alterations and additions to
19 25 20
15 7 1 6
13 8 12
4 3 9
23_escalators 24_existing access: lifts to levels above 25_tripple volume and public square 26_jumping fountains / ‘wind to light’
level 1_access: ramp
floor plan_ accommodation
Acts as an urban stage min its totality. The square seems untouched,
2_access: lift / storage
except for subtle interfaces between the square’s surface and the new
structure which includes access routes via a ramp, a lift and staircase
to levels above and below, a service core, and an amphitheatre with
5_entrance to music museum
sloping side embankments which leads to a subterranean entrance.
The existing facade of the State Theatre opens completely onto
ground level and allows for activation of the square by means of new
8_screens: projection / digital
retail shops. The urban screens act as space defining elements
among the macro scale of the square. The existing three lower levels
of the ABSA Tower, known as ‘the skirt’, are lifted completely and now
11_steps / seating
act as an urban foyer which leads people onto Strijdom Square. It also
acts as a ‘back stage’ for artists and live performances. The new
13_existing shop / information kiosk
Spanish steps allow the urbanite to loiter and watch the day pass.
14_existing access: lift / staircase 15_new shops: additions and
alterations to existing facilities 16_additions to existing staff
facilities 17_alterations and additions to
western facade of State Theatre 18_urban park 19_planters 20_existing services and
emergency exits of ABSA Tower 21_new ATM’s
22_existing columns of ABSA Tower
13 8 8
16 15 20
1 3 9
10 9 9
2 3 4
26_ motor room 27_ quadruple volume 28_link to entrance of new
parkade on vacant site across ABSA Tower 29_existing parking
1_entrance to museum
floor plan_ accommodation
The entrance and reception are accessed by means of two
staircases, one to the north and one to the east of the building, which
lead into the music museum and Apple / museum retail store; these
are connected to the existing submerged arcade of the Standard
5_reception / information desk
Bank Civic Centre, which acts as an alternative route to Church
Street for pedestrians, to the west. Included is a section dedicated to
the administration of the museum with three private offices, a
kitchenette, wcâ€™s and boardroom. Access to exhibition levels below is
9_office: museum administration
offered by means of elaborated ramps which softly cascade into one
another. The first termination point of the ramp ends in a mezzanine
level which is repeated on every lower level, which includes access
by means of two lifts, a bathroom, emergency exit, motor room and
14_entrance to Apple retail and
Museum Shop 15_pay point 16_display 17_product storage 18_repairs 19_storage: books and other 20_accessories 21_existing arcade 22_Standard Bank Centre 23_access: ramp 24_exhibition space 25_ emergency exit
14 18 17 16
2 3 4 7 13 3 5
floor plan_ accommodation
A separate entrance, with direct access via the existing basement
parking below the State Theatre, is allocated to museum staff, on the
3_reception / information desk
eastern periphery of the contained subterranean level. A new vehicle
4_access: staff entrance - secure
entrance to new parkade and extension of existing basement parking
levels below ABSA Tower and State Theatre via Pretorius Street is
6_service yard - secure
allocated on the vacant site across ABSA Tower. A service yard with a
secure lock is provided for deliveries of art and other music
paraphernalia. This level includes a cinema / auditorium - with a
projection / control room - which seats 96 patrons. There is also a
facility for the restoration of art works which comprises open studios,
storage, kitchenette, wcâ€™s as well as an archive (which may be
incorporated into additional exhibition space). A digital mainframe
13_restorations: open studio
and control room - on this particular level and every level to follow
14_digital control room, computer .
below - that caters for projections, light control etcetera, which is
situated on each cascading exhibition level.
15_private art collection / storage - . secure 16_sound lock 17_cinema / auditorium 18_projection room / sound control 19_access ramp 20_exhibition space 21_quadruple volume 22_service duct
19 7 7
floor plan_ accommodation
Acts as the ‘sound’ level which includes two recording studios: the
first contains sufficient space for up to eight artists, the second
3_reception / information desk
enough for a full orchestra. The ‘sound level’ includes administration
facilities for music producers and graphic designers and music
branding; it consists of a reception area, open plan offices, a
kitchenette, wc’s and a boardroom. The ‘sound level’ includes
exhibitions, known as soundscapes, which are presented by means
of a solo artist / group. The patrons are led into a space where the
materials thermosensitively react to each viewer. It comprises a
kaleidoscope of digital laser projections which both elude and trigger
12_board room 13_open plan office 14_digital control room, computer mainframe 15_soundscapes 16_sound lock 17_control room 18_recording studio 19_service duct
15 7 9
floor plan_ accommodation
The entire level acts as an exhibition level and termination point for
patrons. They are confronted with a large reflective watertable.
3_reception / information desk
Allocated facilities allow for additional space / extensions to any of
the previously mentioned administrative areas. This facility includes
two private offices, with separate open plan offices, a kitchenette,
wcâ€™s and boardroom. This level acts as the base of the museum and
the eastern half of the submerged building is a quadruple open space
onto which patrons strolling along the cascading exhibition levels
and ramps may look.
10_wc 11_kitchen 12_board room 13_open plan office 14_digital control room, computer . mainframe 15_service duct
van der walt street
van der walt street
existing passage / access
additions and alterations to existing
new suites for artists / rehearsal studios
extended balcony 3
cinema / auditorium
open plan office
entrance to museum
access: motor room, storage, and service duct
7 3 4
Detail 1_1:20 skin / curtain wall 1_30dia. circular mild steel sections 2_100 x 50 x 3mm thick rectangular 2 1
tube fixed to steel columns 3_75 x 50 x 20 x aluminium
lipped channels 4_spacing rods 5_anodized aluminium cladding 6
7 3 5
6_127 x 76 Steel I-columns 7_25 x 40 diagonal flat steel
mountings fixed to rectangular . tubes 8_Gypsum plasterboard by other 9_thermal insulation
Detail 2_1:10 ramp 1_15 x 20 x 2 mm thick U-shaped
aluminium profile with
polyurethane membrane 2_1100 x 12mm thick Safety glass 3_silicone 4_purpose made glass casing
by Other 5_HILTY self-tapping masonry
screw 6_HILTY chemical anchor bolt 7_175mm thick Concrete slab as
per engineer 8_3mm thick galvanized mild steel plate fixed to top-hat profile 9_autonomous light system by 3 4
Other 10_100 x 75 x 20 x 2.5mm thick mild steel top-hat fixed to concrete
5 6 7 8 9 10
Detail 3_1:10 screen 1_8mm thick Safety clear glass in
aluminium glazing channel 2_silicone 3_alumium louvre system by Other 4_20 x 20 x 2mm thick aluminium
square tube 5_100 x 50 x 2mm thick mild steel
section 6_5mm thick purpose made mild
steel flange 7_interactive position tracking screen with sound reactive
visuals by Other 8_200 x 100 Galvanized mild steel . column
2 3 13
10 17 9
14_down pipe 15_6mm clear safety glass with
anodized purpose made
Aluminium window frame 16_100 x 100 x 5mm (4) thick
purpose made Steel column to . form â€˜crossâ€™ 17_1100 mm high glass handrail
:see detail 2
Detail 4_1:20 structural skin 1_9mm thick FCS Cladding fixed to Top Hats 2_Butanol Membrane over 21mm . thick Plywood 3_Cold Formed C-channels Load Bearing Structure: 75 x 125 x 3mm thick steel Substructure: 50 x 75 x 2mm thick steel 4_50 x100 x 25 x 2.5mm Top Hats
fixed to load bearing structure 5_270 x 175 x 75 x 5mm thick
purpose made steel angle fixed to I-Section 6_Gypsum Plaster Board by Other 7_C-channel; substructure, see 3 8_250 x 200 x 10mm thick Steel
I-Section 9_175mm thick Concrete floor slab 10_25mm thick Cement screed with Epoxy High Gloss to finish 11_Gypsum Plaster Board by Other 12_100 x 100 x 3 mm thick Steel
Structural column fully welded to purpose made angle with wall Insulation full height
Verve_01 adheres to the soul and the activity which is generated by the city's people. Verve_01 inspires the revitalization of the structure and spirit of the city. The diversity, complexity, influences and impact which music has on our daily lives is manifested in built form on an urban as well as a personal interactive scale. The city needs revitalization and the designed place and structure will emanate from the culture of music which is the bloodline of Africa. It was, after all, Gaudi who warned that to be truly radical; you had to rediscover your roots. â€œI CLAIM FOR ARCHITECTS THE RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES THAT PAINTERS AND POETS HAVE HELD FOR SO LONGâ€? (Guedes, unknown).
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My editor_Prof. David Levey
My institution_ Tshwane University of Technology for financial support.
My department_ Prof. Gerald Steyn and Lemaria Labuschagne.
and all my friends in the studio, each of you are very dear to my heart.
My friends_Riette, Mel, Steff, Jaco, Francien, Rikus, Janien, Peet, Arno, Kaya, Mfundo, Mine, Coen, Oâ€™Brian, Helena
My family_Dads, Mams, Fran, Lants and Anri, for your love and endless support.
My mentor_ Errol Pieters, for your guidance throughout my studies, you are a father and friend.
you with all I am.
My King_Father, This is for You. Look what you have done for me! You have set me free and seen to my heart, I love
Published on Apr 16, 2012
Verve_01 adheres to the soul and the activity which is generated by the city's people. Verve_01 inspires the revitalization of the structure...