DRY PORT SUPPORT Urban Strategies for City Deepâ€™s Terrain Vague
DRY PORT SUPPORT
DECLARATION I, Kate Keightley-Smith 0503764A, am a student registered for the course Master of Architecture [Professional] in the year 2011. I hereby declare the following: I am aware that plagiarism [the use of someone else’s work without permission and/or without acknowledging the original sources] is wrong. I conﬁrm that the work submitted for assessment for the above course is my own unaided work except where I have stated explicitly otherwise. I have followed the required conventions in referencing thoughts, ideas, and visual materials of others. For this purpose, I have referred to the Graduate School of Engineering and the Built Environment style guide. I understand that the University of the Witwatersrand may take disciplinary action against me if there is a belief that this is not my unaided work or that I have failed to acknowledge the source of the ideas or words in my own work.
Kate Keightley-Smith This document is submitted in partial fulﬁlment for the degree: Master of Architecture [Professional] at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, in the year 2011.
Previous photograph taken by author 07/06/2011. Kazerne container depot looking back at the City of Johannesburg.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This thesis is for my parents. Mom, thank you for everything you have done for me, the list is endless. Dad, thank you for dragging me around construction sites and showing me what architecture really is. Andrew, thank you for telling me to follow my dreams. Hannah le Roux, you have been inspirational and understanding throughout the journey of this year, thank you for everything. Kiki Doermann, Jonathan Noble and Mohammed Munchi, thank you for crits and constant support. To Mike Scholes and Mike Rayne, thank you for teaching me how to draw, and for your endless time whenever I needed it. Elena Rocchi, thank you for the encouragement and to Peter Rich for the Durban Masterclass. Thank you to Judith Mavunganidze and Monika L채uferts from Tsica for your time and for showing me how the people of Johannesburg live. Raff, Tennille, Brad and Jack, thank you for the crazy slap. Marco and Tom thanks for guiding me in the right direction. To all the patient people who went to site with me, Mark and Ricky. Thank you Leigh for the treats in various shapes and forms. To Nerali, thank you for the best and worst two years, I would not have been able to do it without you. To Dan and Lan, thank you for keeping me alive and for reminding me that there is life outside of architecture. To Meg, thank you for reminding me that architecture is life and for keeping me going, but most of all thank you for the music.
Context of City Deep within Gauteng major highway routes in relation to Main Reef Road - redrawn from Google Earth, 03/05/2011
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PREFACE To the south of the city, below the belt of the M2 highway, lies
Heidelberg road lies inconspicuously, without any indicator.
the CBD’s industrial neighbourhoods. To the west of Kazerne,
City Deep. Terminal Yard, Fresh Produce Market, Compound
A kilometer east of Maritzburg street lies the George Goch
spreads City Deep container terminal, spans of concrete and
quarters. City Deep and Kazerne shipping container depots,
Precinct. Transpiring adjacently to Kazerne, it comprises the
towers of containers, different to Kazerne, through newness,
are together Africa’s largest in-land dry-port. This region
LTA hostel, Murray and Roberts hostel, George Goch hostel,
yet identical in function.
of Johannesburg possess vast economic weight owing to
surrounding beerhalls, soccer ﬁeld, grandstand and informal
its scale and distribution capacity. The area in which I am
fascinated begins at the Heidelberg interchange, continues
This edge to the city sees the presence of the hostel, controversial through violence and politics, these housing units reside on the unsavoury land adjacent to mining
along the M2 highway, ends at the Chilvers street off ramp and unfolds southwards until Heidelberg road. Commercial
The labyrinth of railway lines, marshalling yards, cargo sheds
activity south of Heidelberg Road, auctioning at the Flower
and customs administration belonging to the City Deep
Market, mechanisms of the Fresh Produce precinct, all
region, is comprised of two container despatch terminals,
support the economic substance of these viable terrains. The
Kazerne and City Deep. It is additionally broken into sections
Kazerne district also comprises a corner of land bound by
based on the operations characterising each space. Railway
Durban street, lying north of the M2 highway, whilst the rest
lines back up against the Freight Hub/Trade Port, making
of the site sits respectively southwards. This portion of land,
up light industries which make use of their own rail sidings
belongs to the verticality of the CBD, home to an abandoned
and then further transport their goods tediously via road and
Kazerne building and adjacently a informal and bustling taxi
truck. The section south of Heidelberg road, rising steeply
rank. It is woven into and under the Heidelberg interchange,
upwards from yellow vegetation, is Prolecon owned land.
bound by Maritzburg street on its east. This space is one of
Slimes dam and mine dump constitute this space, a physical
two entrances into this the Kazerne depots. The other, off
barrier dividing the southern suburbs of Johannesburg from
‘leftovers’. The hostels, as well as the informal settlement, positioned at the edge of the Johannesburg city exists as concentrated and volatile banlieues1. This context belongs to a layered South African history of political and social exploitation, gendered hierarchies and immigrant constructs. But mostly and more interestingly, it is due to the physical proximities/ spatial constructions of the existing communities that City Deep operates as “Terrain Vague”. 1[ French ] describes suburban areas at the peripheries of the city. Koolhaas refers to ‘plankton on the banlieue,’ in Elegy for the Vacant Lot when comparing dense metropolises to city outskirts. Koolhaas, R 1995, S, M, L, XL. Monacelli Press, New York
Map of City Deep. Redrawn from a combination of council maps and Google earth trace.
The nonlinear route of truck drivers entering Kazerne to collect shipping containers at Johannesburgâ€™s terminal depot. Similarly, the methodology of this thesis was not a straight and ordered process but it was however a journey.
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24 hours in City Deep
Intention to Design
Every year 310 000 containers are transported by rail into
proximity to the CBD. Transnet has proposed the expansion
regarding trucking maintenance. The road conditions of
City Deep and Kazerne container terminals. By 2020, this
of its inter-modal container terminal Of Kazerne, along with
the area are subsequently threadbare and dilapidated with
number should increase to 500 000. (City of Johannesburg
road infrastructure and lighting masts across both City Deep
a great lack of coherence, signage, systematic movement
Transportation Department, 2009, 1) Although Transnet owned
and Kazerne. This 130 hectares of land is intended to meet
and communication. Transnet previously had sole rights to
railway yards and truck container depots are a huge economic
a future demand of medium-rated space for containers. The
freight transport from Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth
drive in Johannesburg, much of this space is disused and
surrounding processing industries are also forecast to grow
into Johannesburg. Currently local road haul activity is now
in capacity and size. (City of Johannesburg Transportation
controlled by a variety of logistics companies. As a result,
To make use of the undeveloped spaces of City Deep would
Department, 2009, 14). What lacks amongst these expansive
each container terminal acts independently as a smaller-scale
be to ‘inﬁll’ vacancies, assisting in the promotion of the idea
terrains, is any form of supporting facility, that which aids
operation. The loss of coherence and depot communication
of a compact city. (Jenks, Burton & Williams, 1996) The
the labour force, the drivers of massive machinery, those
within City Deep prevails. Instead of one large container
compact city draws parallels to the notion of the ‘resilient
which keep containers moving, the modern-day slave to
terminal, City Deep and Spoornet’s Kazerne are both
city’ in that transportation and overall infrastructure costs
globalization. The labour force should in the future, increase
made up of various components which work independently
decrease. (South African Cities Network, 2011) The proposals
with the additional container depot space. The number
from each other. This document serves to investigate the
of industrial or commercial activity in this area would result
of container trucks which transport these containers will
feasibility of restoring use back into this terrain, a use which
in the promotion of the economic growth of Johannesburg.
consequently increase. A pinnacle ‘cog’ in the mechanism
These ‘pockets’ of land surrounding the marshalling yards and
that is container transportation via road in Southern Africa,
cargo depots are ideally located in that they exist within close
is City Deep and Kazerne, yet neither area yields any place
is simultaneously beneﬁcial to surrounding communities, an expanding container terminal and the environment in which it wildly lies.
CITY DEEP “Google” perspectives have a way of captivating any
What attracted me to the site initially was the manner in
landscaper or designer owing to the variations of scale and
which supposed tightly coordinated systems occur amidst
measures of control at which one can view the surface of the
a chaos. I learnt later that this chaos manifests itself owing
earth. This vast and toxic terrain has left me encapsulated
to a very speciﬁc condition. This condition comes from the
through potential and ideal of what this site holds. The
meeting of two very strong arrangements. One arrangement
site however needs to be fully understood and carefully
is the set of existing buildings. These existing structures can
unpacked at the level of each system of operation. What
further be parted into two groups, those buildings which
appears to be one singular goods terminal at Kazerne
are generic in form and layout, yet used daily, and then
is actually a variety of companies who deal with speciﬁc
those which lie in ruin. The other arrangement, is the human
storage and transportation needs of their customers. An
side of freight operation. This humanist mechanism comes
understanding of each operation had to be gathered from
with a brutal routine, strenuous on the body, cruel in its
each corporate company individually. From here, Kazerne
hours. The non-human side to this freight sector, that which
emerges as a working machine, made up of different
comprises structure and building, mere envelopes around
components. Each is quiet different in density, intention,
which it works, is rigid, banal and often superﬂuous. This
structure and in anthropological state. When zooming out
superﬂuity exists in that freight operation is not dependent on
and viewing City Deep as a whole, it merges again into one
enclosed architecture. What is pertinent is that these sterile
area, navigated as a route or road map, having different
and seemingly unorganized operations occur owing to this
stations which make up a sum of its parts, a completed
“The terrain vague runs contrary to the desired image of a prosperous city. Because it punctuates the ideal of plenty and order, generally associated with urban prosperity, it presents a problem. While waiting for future developments to solve the problem, people try to ignore the’ terrain vague’, abandoning it to lucrative parking lots or trying a quick cosmetic fix to minimize the possibilities for use.” (Lévesque 2002: 6-7)
“Since the 1920’s when the railway goods yard for the Johannesburg area was moved from Braamfontein to Kazerne, the area experienced gradual growth in freight transport activities. The relocation of the Fresh Produce market in the 1970’s also resulted in many food and cold storage related businesses contributing to freight transport to and from the area.” (City of Johannesburg Transportation Department 2009: 1)
HISTORICAL CONTEXT The reduction of freight transportation costs and greater
additional decline in the marshalling and goods yards. Large
Rail freight ﬁrst began in Braamfontein in the 1890’s, before
space at cheaper rates developed as attractive business
numbers of road transported containers arrive in City Deep
relocating south of inner city urban activity. The Main Reef
ventures for Johannesburg industrial companies.
including those delivered privately and directly to individual
line was built between India Junction in Germiston to where
customers. Freight companies whose truck ﬂeets move
New Canada Junction exists today. (City of Johannesburg
The use of the goods sheds became redundant when
containers ﬁrst have to leave their containers in bonded
Transportation Department 2009: 6) Before the prefabrication
containerisation began to occur in the 1980’s and changed
warehouses or depots in this Kazerne area. The shift from
and mass-production of steel containers, individual wagons
the freight market of Southern Africa. Cargo yards now stand
rail to road in freight transportation in the 1990’s allowed City
were manufactured and dispatched to the major marshalling
vacant and ghostly except for one remaining brick structure.
Deep to emerge into contemporary times as a patchwork
yard, Kazerne, City Deep. Boxes and crates of goods
This building, inscribed with the words “customs” belongs to
of mine dumps and antiquated rail tracks. This land does
imported into South Africa would be ofﬂoaded at Durban and
the South African Revenue Service (SARS). This warehouse
however, house expensive industrial machinery and remains
Cape Town Sea Ports, packed loose into single rail wagons
stands particularly inaccessible, behind security guards
and railed into the marshalling yards in Johannesburg’s City
and high fences, is home to all illegal goods, brought into
Deep. South African Railways dominated long-haul freight up
the country, without having their taxes paid, stored amid
until the 1970’s when industrial expansion fragmented along
a commodity graveyard. The resulting container handling
the horizontal reef line, expanding into Isandovale. With
yards with their monstrous machineries sprouted south of the
city expansion in the 60’s and 70’s, food process houses,
previous marshalling yards, along what is currently the east
cold storage facilities and industrial plants relocated to the
west running Heidelberg road. When the transportation of
periphery of Johannesburg, to the city edge, to City Deep.
cargo moved from rail freight to privatised truck, it caused an
the largest inland port of Southern Africa.
“The goods and marshalling yards with their network of junctions, points, spurs and sidings were located at Kazerne.” (Chipkin 2008)
City Deep was named in the 1890s, as the area filled with headgear and processing plants during the burgeoning goldrush. All cargo and freight and was brought into the city by rail, into Braamfontein cargo station. The Fresh Produce Market opened in 1893 at Market Square within close proximity to the goods station. By 1913, the Fresh produce Market had grown to such an extent that it was moved to Newtown
By 1920, the Main Reef line was built connected India Junction in Germiston to new Canada Junction along the east-west belt of the mining reefs. At this point, it became necessary that passenger rail and freight rail separate. By 1923, new marshalling yards were built at Kazerne south of the Main Reef line. All cargo was moved from Braamfontein to Kazerne where trains were dismantled into carriages and alternatively carriages bound for specific destinations were assembled into trains. Private sidings were soon constructed in order for goods sheds to house private and corporate loose wagons which were all transported by the South African Rail Service.
The excess of space allowed industries and process houses to develop around the Kazerne district and further proliferate into Selby, Village Main and Booysens owing to the quantities of new gold having been found along the reef. The first industrial suburbs of Johannesburg flourished in close proximity to the railway lines.
South Africa’s first hump shunt marshalling yard is built at Kazerne.
Cargo ships would dock in Durban harbour, to off load produce and products in boxes, crates and drums, all with a shipping ‘mark’ stamped onto the outside of each individual package. These individual packages were packed as lose cargo (today, bulk cargo) into single railway wagons before being railed into the goods sheds at Kazerne. Goods were off loaded and kept under cover until collection and delivery. This process continues until the early 1970’s.
Although corporate companies had their own sidings, the South African Railways had a stronghold monopoly over long haul freight transportation owing to the absence of the alternative. The South African government enforced exclusive railway rights to haul cargo at lead distances over 50 kilometers, allowing this control to continue. The government also at this stage, disallowed road freight movement to exceed 50 kilometers however, industrial expansion had fragmented along the Reef and into Isando.
Ge George Goch ch hhostel wwith its adjacent ‘beer beer hhall’ beer is built.t. George administration G ge Goch G adm ati block ock ckk uilt in anticipation ntic on for fo the future fut hostels hoste oste is built which will house ho the mining m ning companies’ comp es’’ black ckk wworkforce. workforce kf
Hostel H Ho o stadium taa is bbuilt
1980 980 98 80
LTA, TA TA, A Murry A, M and Roberts Robeerts and an a d MBA M hostels hostels are built bbu uillt uilt uui
Currently,y,, Kazerne is a patchw patchwork hwork of o miineedum dilapidated rrailway areas, minedumps, ar s, while whi wwh hile ile at the thh same time, is surrounded su ded bbyy contemporary cco ontempor ontempo on ntem rar ntempora ary ryy industrial and continues continu too be the be the larges largest large la ges larg eststt in-land port in Afric Africa. rica
1970’S 19 1 97
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By 1972, By 11972 972, the thhhee Fresh Produce uce Market, arket, et, having av g in size gr grown i since i its i move mov into Newtown relocated to its present site Heidelberg itee along Heidelb Road, City Deep as per the City Council’ C il’l’s request. q Consequently, q y,y, this caused a surge g in iindustrial dustrial uustriaal complex ustri com compl co p development, housing food processing ssing sing iingg and annd nd cold col ccold ld storage sto sstoragge fa faci ffacilities, facilities to op open open suchh ass City Ciity Cit ty Deep ty Deeeeepp Production D Productio Prod roductio duction tio ion io on Park. on PPark arkk Sh Short Sho ho t haul ha hau hau auull and d t ces were stil distan distances di still viable viabbbl ble for forr corporates corpora p ad companies, thus thhus hus us industry in industr indust dustry ustry try ryy began b g to t further ffurth fu thhe 1975 frag ffra fragment fragme raagment gment ment me eenntt along aal alo g th the hhe Reef. RRe Ree Containers C Co aaii were first fi s introduced to South firs Africa ca in 1975 ow ca oowing to the amount of freight needing diin in to be transported at economical ical measures. meas me measu ures ures. res. es. Containers Contain Contai Conta proved pro safer and more ore releliliabl reliable able than loosely lyy packed crates,
1980’S 980 S 9
Kazerne Ka a azerne marshalling m yard in a state of decline owing to containerisation. n. Container ontainer handling ssystem sys ystem s is develo developed eveloped by South So African Railwa RRailways p, justt south so of Kazerne. at City Deep, 1990’S 1 19 99 9
Thee South African ican gov government vernment lilifts ifts the restriction trict riction of railway way monopoly monnopoly on lo llong ng haul transport allowing railway freight port all ht to change drastically. cally.
2000’S 2000 0S
Considerable am amounts mou of high g va gh value alue goods are ar transportation to road owing moved from rom rail transpo transpor transporta tra ng security The Kazerne marshalling too ssecu securi cur u measures. Th yards ya yard yar ardd experience further ddecline. Kazerne 100% capacity of container eexercises 25% of its 100 ex er handling however between tw n CCity Deep and nd Kazernee 310 000 shipping containers ipping ng co nt s pass through this inland inl port each ach year, yea resulting in a higher industrial industrially zonedd land value in the thhe surrounding areas. ng are
Transnet Freight Rail, is the large-scale para-statal freight company which owns Kazerne’s developed and undeveloped land. Very little money has been invested into the Kazerne area albeit the amount of money generated at the ports of Durban and Cape Town through freight logistics is relatively large. An upgrading process of the existing Kazerne terminal is currently being processed by the Johannesburg City Council which includes light masts and an increase in container depot yards (City of Johannesburg Transportation Dept. 2009 : 34). What also needs to be addressed however, is the current urban structure of City Deep’s adjacent neighbourhoods.
“There has been little change to the operational structure of the South African rail industry over the past century. Now, as then, it remains a state-owned monopoly, run as a division of the same entity that houses the South African ports. Despite attempts to introduce greater commercial discipline in the 1980s, the rail industry is still only intermittently profitable and seems to be cross subsidised via the high returns achieved in Transnet’s ports division.” Fund for Research into Industrial Development, Growth and Equity, 20 June 2007. Prices, Investment and Efficiency on the Railways : A Sectoral Review of Efficiencies in Administered Pricing in South Africa. Genesis Analytics (Pty) Ltd, Trade and Industry Chamber. Republic of South Africa.
Indication of land ownership across City Deep (City of Johannesburg Transportation Department, 2009, Report of Freight and Traffic Management Plan for the City Deep/ Kazerne Freight Hub, ITS Engineers (pty) ltd. Johannesburg.
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CURRENT FLUX F R E S H
P R O D U C E
M A R K E T
Produce and goods packed containers, with the destination
man is successful owing to its manoeuvrability and intimate
at which goods move is more an ode to the modern city
of Johannesburg or anywhere north of the city, arrive in
space around which it is structured. Unlike the rest of the
than the actual merchandise itself. The truck, the bakkie, the
Durban, their customs cleared and are trucked or railed to
Fresh Produce Market, designed around the physicalities
trolley and the capital cost it takes to transfer fresh produce
City Deep as bulk cargo or break bulk cargo, where they
of large-scale trucks, this market is comfortable in size,
from a foreign country to a local street corner.
are further transported to the Fresh Produce Market on
intentionally designed according to smaller quantities. The
Heidelberg road. This market, a terrain of tar and storage,
rest of the market is characterized by a mass of high-roofed
The operation of cargo transportation eradicates its own
pulp and smell, is where Johannesburg comes to shop
halls, where forklifts rush and crates shift. By mid morning,
humane counterpart. The roughness and regime of City
each morning. Arcades of spanning trusses enclosed
it beckons barren and stark, devoid of the people, already
Deep’s industrial capital ventures, forms a void where
with corrugated iron, make up 5 extending ﬁngers, each
fulﬁlling a day’s work. Pure in function, monstrous in scale,
content human working conditions exist. Owing to the great
extrusion housing fruit, vegetables or processed food stuff.
this structure serves as the interface between farmers and
scale and length of each ﬁnger of the layout of the market,
Each morning this building is swarmed by a ﬂurry of trucks,
produce sellers, an edge, at which rural itineraries meet
bakkies and pedestrians buying produce for the proceeding
urban structures. From the street vendor to the bourgeoning
day. Citizens of Johannesburg each with their own account
super-chain, all scales of produce merchants stock up for the
or simply buying once off, move through the market like a
day, or week, or month.
using a vehicle of some sort, leaving those with produce parcels dependent on taxis, trolleys and bakkies. The mechanics of this site operate like any system, yet the variety of people which use the site daily would beneﬁt from an
liquid, viscous with the stress of buying the best goods and
it is difﬁcult to move across the expansion of tarmac without
the lowest prices. Budding from success, the market has,
What is of great interest is not merely the system of food
since its opening in 1972 in City Deep, opening a butchery,
passing from place to person and back again, but instead
liquor store and pedestrian market. This smaller market
the manner in which it is transported. The method and scale
improved public instance.
Joburg Fresh Produce Market Photographs by author taken 02/04/2011 05:30 am and 04/06/2011 6:00 am
P R O D U C E
M O V E M E N T
Joburg Fresh Produce Market Photograph by author taken 02/04/2011 05:30 am
This man buys fresh produce each morning, travels into the Johannesburg CBD, catching a ride in his friend’s ‘bakkie’ in order to sustain his income as provider to street vendors. He is not legally allowed to sell goods to vendors on Von Weilligh and Commisioner streets, yet he says police are not too concerned with what he is doing as they have bigger problems to attend to. He is trying to save enough money to buy his own car, which would ensure his independence. He has been selling fruit and vegetables to other vendors for several months because they themselves cannot move such quantities of produce into the city without spending most of what they earn on transport. A ‘satellite’ market within the city would beneﬁt these types of economic structures yet what evinces from this more ‘convoluted’ system is more opportunity for work. Clear access into the city
WEMMER PAN ROAD
Surreal in their starched gowns, strange in this setting, yet this congregation of Zionist Christians return every weekend as per tradition to the land, sacred to them in that it belongs to their ancestors. This land has been abused and disďŹ gured, revered to them as if it were a grand cathedral
Zionist Christians Meeting amongst the mine dumps between Wemmer Pan Road and Heidelberg Road. Photograph taken by author 05/05/2011. Map Right indicating area where these men and women congregate over weekends and holidays, in relation to roads and railways .
or temple of some sort. Regardless of the state in which it lies, members of this group return regularly. They gather in the veld adjacent to Kazerne. These people are as much a context of City Deep as any structure or railway line.
K W A
M A I
M A I
M A R K E T
A joiner at Kwa Mai Mai assembles a child’s coffin in the courtyards of the precinct. Photograph taken 20/10/2011 at 01:00 pm
As a rarity, in that it exists as a precinct in the city and not just as a stand-alone store, the Mai Mai Market is a traditional ethnic shopping destination rather than that of which beneﬁts from Saturday ramblers such as those in transit, passing through Faraday market, two kilometers away. Historically, these brick buildings housed the treating of animal skins and beer brewing. Currently skins are still cured but the chimneys and cooling stacks stand disused and dilapidated. Edging the industries which sprawl westwards, the position of Mai Mai is interesting because is also edge to the city. Those who work in the small niched courtyard stores mostly also reside there too. Babies and toddlers attend the creche inside the precinct, while children play in the quaint passages. Joiners and carpenters assemble cofﬁns, beds and desks. Many stalls sell traditional Zulu ethnic medicine and clothing, however the council has reported that there has been a lack of users to date. Traditional medicine is perhaps becoming somewhat of a spectacle instead of a practiced convention. It is bustling on weekends most likly owing to the braaied meat which comes from surrounding wholesale butcheries, including the wholesale butchery at City Deep Fresh Produce Market. Tucked under the extension of Heidelberg road’s ﬂy-over heading into Jeppestown, this market is hidden from great bustling crowds but is acknowledged as a strong destination adjacent to City Deep.
K W A
M A I
M A I
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Bustling on Saturdays and at months end yet open 24 hours a day, as these shops are homes to those who work here. Stalls, include traditional medicine, skin curing, traditional attire, furniture, coffin making and a creche where an old beer hall once stood. bonded warehousing
Wemmer Pan road
R E C Y C L I N G
F A C T O R Y
M U L T I F L O R A
7.30am to 5.30pm Largest flower auctioning market in Africa 36
M A R K E T
CONTAINER FREIGHT TRUCK ROUTE INTO AND OUT OF KAZERNE
Busy between 5:00 - 9:00 am often completetly congested from 4:00 - 6:00 pm
G E O R G E
G O C H
H O S T E L S
private residents men only Traditionally men had a curfew and had to return back to their hostels before 10pm. Today men come and go as they please. Most men living in the hostels are searching for temporary work or permanent work around Johannesburg. Many men leave the hostels between 5 - 6 pm walking or catching a taxi into the city. â€˜Cargoâ€™ logistics company container depot yard
F R E S H wetlands
P R O D U C E
M A R K E T
5:00 am - 11 am Moved from its Braamfontein site, then Market Square to City Deep in 1974, the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market is the largest Fresh Produce Market -in Africa. It has a capacity to handle 400 railway trucks of fresh fruit and
Bonded warehouse open between 5:00 - 18:00 Container trucks entering and exiting this area constantly, roads in disrepair.
As a container logistics company, Grinrod own their own siding where containers need not go through Transnet’s despatch system. Despatch is operational 24 hours a day. Freight Logistics operational during office hours. Bonded warehouses store containers for clients as ‘empties’ and ‘fullloads’. housing complex
Council flats originally built for workers of the railways, one block stands empty while the other is used but in a state of disrepair. 38
Busy between 5:00 - 7:00 am - Durban street congests completely going west into CBD during peak hours.
Kazerne ofďŹ ce complex abandoned
B ildi completely Building l t l un-operational ti l andd hhas ffallen ll into disrepair. Homeless are currently living here.
Operational from 6am - 4pm, illegal goods, good without their taxes having been paid,. Arriving from the airport andd City Deep and Kazerne rail terminals, these goods end up being stored in this goods warehouse. Benrose depot
Abandoned municipal depot, this building is completely inactive. Road access to buildings currently blocked.
Transrand cargo sheds in ruin
Concrete roof structure lying in ruin, abandoned when containers were introduced to the freight industry CityDeep Productio Operational n p a r kduring office hours plus Saturday and Sunday. Small freight vehicles and staff
cars going in and out but otherwise whole area is unavailable to public.
“Its former central business district and surrounding residential neighbourhoods were subject to mass abandonment in the 1980s and early 1990s, as business and property owners relocated to suburban nodes. While these relocations can be attributed to many factors, (infrastructure requirements, convenience, corporate restructuring, prestige, racist assumptions about property values), a clear picture of capital flight from the city emerges.” (Sudjic & Berdett 2010: 207)
JOHANNESBURG We are of a world of concrete and steel, of truss and timber,
mine dumps, tampered sites and shipment yards. Scares
What remains is the void, islands of foreign land, foreign to
of reams of paper, scribbled with the words ‘superceded’
but alternatively pores, extraction spaces, free from exhaust
corporate activity, density and instruments of organisation
and ‘revised’. As much as the opulent future of a built
fumes, and a jungle of concrete. This breathing space is our
and burgeoning wealth. Post-industrial space has left us with
Johannesburg depends on these tools, it is also dependent
true raw material, our medium for imagination, medium for
on open space. Space for which our ideals and dreams
ideal. Without this release from density, we could not imagine
manifest into folded steel and glazing. Our glass encased
the endless possibilities of the manufactured environment.
gaze extends beyond the windscreen, onto barren dust-land,
In essence, we need open land to imagine our ideal built
where once industrial consumption, the driver of economies
environments. Our structural ediﬁces rest upon discarded
and aspiration stood proud, the goods sheds stand
landscape, quiet in its recession, vague in its function, alone
superﬂuous and rejected. Before the onset of modernism,
in its abandonment, but most importantly making up an edge
urban renewal, and the energy crisis, Johannesburg as a
to our bustling city.
Lévesque describes these indeterminate spaces as representative of socio-economic abandonment and deterioration. (Lévesque 2002: 6-7) City Deep’s spaces are certainly deteriorated but cannot be illustrated as abandoned. This land, belonging to transportation corporations and the city council, is physically and socially isolated from suburbia in the south, and from the inner city
mining metropolis prided herself upon the speed at which We have inherited, from the modern era, the great gift of
to the north. The hostel residences remain a marginalized
the brownﬁeld. Realising the potential of vacant urban land
group of citizens, paralleling the discriminated spaces in
Our contemporary age is haunted by the phantoms of the
was up until recently, of little importance. With the urgent
which they lie. As isolated as their context, hostel dwellers,
industrial era. With the abandonment of process houses and
and awakening housing, infrastructural and socio-economic
are detached from the intricacies of Johannesburg in that
factories, the city edge is rife with scares of slimes dams,
requisites, the global city searches for recyclable land.
their social constructs are unique.
fuel was consumed and earth was moved.
Far left: Meat delivery into the courtyard at George Goch Hostel, 2008, Tsica Heritage Consultants. Photograph taken by Judith Mavunganidze Right: Entrance to George Goch Hostel, 2008, Tsica Heritage Consultants. Photograph taken by Judith Mavunganidze
“This second trajectory was a metropolitanism always imbedded in and enframing the “racial city” of the apartheid era. The end of legalized segregation has made it possible for Johannesburg to reconnect with this part of its historical identity as an urban form that served the needs of capital and in the process, became the synthesis of individuality and freedom. There was always a tension between the apartheid ﬁxity of race and the potential unﬁxing of the commodity form, even after race became a commodity itself.” (Nuttall & Mbembe 2008: 58)
The George Goch precinct, heavy with history, socially
Mining conglomerates, during the emergence of
City Deep’s hostels have become the city’s orphans. Few
isolated, as part of a network of mining town compounds, lies
Johannesburg, constructed single sex compounds along
claim their responsibility; owned by the city of Johannesburg,
subservient in the shadow of the highway. The George Goch
railway lines to house their black industrial workforce. Similarly
managed by existing cultural networks of the residing men, the
Precinct transpires adjacently and comprises the LTA hostel,
in the 1960’s the George Goch, Murray and Roberts and LTA
hostels exist independently of surrounding areas. Built by the
Murray and Roberts hostel, George Goch hostel, MBA Hostel
hostels were built by these respective companies to house
companies after which they are named , the apartheid-inspired
surrounding beerhalls, an informal settlement, soccer ﬁeld and
hostels house men while they work in the city, their families
“Competition for labour was very intense after the Great South African War of 1899−1902 so a ‘liberal’ compound regime was seen as essential to attract workers at the mines.” (Tsica Heritage Consultants 2009, 4)
left behind in the rural outposts of South Africa. (Elder 2003:
“Municipalities were however not the only bodies of administration for hostels. Some of the hostels were owned by various mining companies or by specific industries or by the State. This multiplicity of ownership made it historically difficult to effect uniformity in terms of administration and in terms of assertion of control.” (Tsica Heritage Consultants 2009, 5)
921-935) The beerhalls, a commons for keeping hostel dwellers happy enough to continue to work, now serves a different purpose.
Bakkies come and go bringing fresh meat into each hostel.
yet this community would beneﬁt from a meal source outside
possibly the mass intake of people into Johannesburg and the
As one of the original rules to the George Goch hostel, food
of any chain goods store. What additionally remains today is
deeply gendered migrant complex are informal settlements
was forbidden to enter into any one of the rooms. The same
the gender rule. These hostels continue to uphold the original
surrounding the hostel commons. These informal and illegal
rule applies today, however ‘elders’, those who enforce the
fanatical regulations implemented by their managements.
settlements are primarily made up of women and children.
law over the younger inhabitants allow the bending of such
The control of these ‘native commons’ expired during the
(Tsica Heritage Consultants 2009: 5) Single black males live
rules to those whom they favour. However, common manner of
restructuring of post-apartheid Johannesburg, yet the gender
independently of their wives, girlfriends and families as they
eating in the hostels is with other residents in the courtyards.
rules continue to exist. The strict structures that remain
did when Johannesburg ﬁrst began to emerge. Ironically,
Meat is delivered into this area where communal braais form
within the hostel social-system perhaps prelude to fear of
our contemporary time has yielded female dominated shack
social gatherings. This particular tradition stands despite
patriarchal deterioration, reminisce of a forgotten family
settlements backing onto the shunting yards of the railway
the low income of the average hostel dweller. Meat and the
life. (Ibid) Violent male authority in hostels has replaced
lines, sandwiched between and around the George Goch
communal cooking of meat is traditionally part of this social
patriarchal rural community structures, where respect for
hostel precinct. Whether to bridge social distances or to live
culture. For those living in the surrounding informal settlement,
elder males created a certain order and calm. With internal
within the outer precincts of the city, this settlement perhaps
food delivery is a rarity. Small scale ‘spaza’ shops do however
organization establishment and social hierarchies, the strict
exists to remedy the artiﬁcial disposition of the male hostels.
litter pavements and internal sections of the informal settlement,
policy regarding women still exists. What has generated from
New settlements, new social constructs, our city will manifest
Map of hostels comprising George Goch precinct redrawn from Tsica Heritage Consultants: 2009: 7.
LTA HOSTEL POLICE BARRACKS
MURRAY AND ROBBERTS
SOCCER FIELD GEORGE GOCH HOSTEL
INFORMAL SETTLEMENT ZIONIST CHURCH
Above images: Growth of Johannesburg and the central Witwatersrand 1990-1992 (adapted from Beavon, K. 2000. Johannesburg, Making and Shaping of the City. University of South Africa Press, Pretoria. p 7) Built up areas
1984 U R B A N
1992 A T T R I B U T E S
Johannesburg belongs to individual descriptions which
Johannesburg, a Doughnut City is used to describe a
various theorists, planners and architects have illustrated.
phenomenon that affects the physical shape of some cities of
Johannesburg will never be of individual character, its
the North American Sun Belt. It consists of the concentration
metaphors everywhere and ephemeral. I will describe
of urban activity on the ring road (where the newest and most
Johannesburg as having these different natures however; it
advanced generation of housing estates and ofﬁce parks
exists schizophrenically, as an amalgam.
are located) and the parallel physical disappearance of all
that remains inside (the interior is affected by an accelerated process of obsolescence that leads to the demolition of a
“A city is never simply in one place.” (Baxi: 2007: 7)
multitude of buildings). Viewed from a European perspective, the Doughnut City is a phenomenon that goes against nature. If in the cities of the Old Continent proximity to the center means an added value, in the Doughnut City quite the reverse is true: the most eligible urban areas are on the ﬁnal periphery.
Johannesburg, through a set of urban phenomena embodies
He describes the city as expanding from a centre, diluting
certain elements of the Generic City. Downtown Johannesburg
towards the periphery. Johannesburg dilutes not in identity,
with its crumbling modern buildings, made way for the
as he suggests, but rather in density and claustrophobic
inﬂux of foreigners, their international connections, their
rigidity. City Deep is an aperture of the tightness lying on the
informal economies. The inner city has manifest itself out its
periphery of the Johannesburg’s grid.
people’s necessities. Necessity for housing, for transport, for nourishment. Koolhaas describes the likes of a Generic City, certainly reminisce of contemporary Johannesburg.
“Usually the Generic City has been “planned” not in the usual sense of some bureaucratic organization controlling its development, but as if various echoes, spores, tropes, seeds fell on the ground randomly as in nature, took hold – exploiting the natural fertility of the terrain-” (Koolhaas 1995: 1248)
“As the sphere of the influence expands, the area characterized by the centre becomes larger and larger, hopelessly diluting both the strength and the authority of the core; inevitably the distance between core and center and circumference increases to the breaking point. In this perspective, the recent, belated discovery of the periphery as a zone of potential value – a kind of pre-historic condition that might be worthy of architectural attention” (Koolhaas 1995: 1248)
Above images: Concentric zones of Johannesburg, each cell containing approximately the same number of people. Industrial and mining zones are the grey wedges radiating outwards from the CBD. (adapted from Beavon, K. 2000. Johannesburg, Making and Shaping of the City. University of South Africa Press, Pretoria. pg 184)
M U L T I - F U N C T I O N A L
C I T Y
In some ways City Deep is representative of the city of Johannesburg, its networks of food battering, hostile living conditions, corporate exploitation of natural resources. Its vegetative terrains are certainly a watery segment of Johannesburg itself. The matrices, which hold true to the city, still play out their theatrical roles in these flatter terrains. The hostels and informal settlements mimic Hillbrowâ€™s highrises. The railway lines carrying foreign goods, the blank highway of speed and vastness, devoid of identity â€“ its tighter version, the minibus taxi web. Simultaneously, this is where a fragment of elements has created a post-modern periphery. Fragments of legal and illegal economies, gender hierarchies, local and small scale loopholes, informal housing ingenuity. This city is multi-functional as is City
Contours of a City Deep mine dump which has since been reprocessed for the remaining gold in its soil. Redrawn by author from Johannesburg City Council Cadastral.
C H A N G I N G
L A N D S C A P E S
The Transnet railway lines and container depots are
As much as this landscape speaks of terrain vague in
surrounded by post-industrial terrains. This land is not
the manner of which Sola-Morales spoke, it also aligns
abandoned. It belongs to empires and corporations and
to the notion of the ocean. This port has no sea, yet the
the Johannesburg City Council. It is however a dumping
landscape of which it exists is reminisce of an ocean in that
yard, degenerate and forgotten, its usurpation by nature,
it has ﬂow and movement and change. Trucks and trains
discolouring to the onlooker. Reasons for this site enduring
move as currents, pedestrians as ﬁsh, their goods, the
various states of disrepair could be due to economic states,
plankton and the silt, their nourishment around which they
however Transnet has passed proposals to extend and
centre. Toxic mine soil ebbs and ﬂows, like a tide bound
increase the capacity and roads of Kazerne Freight Hub,
by a moon, controlled by corporations, extracting gold
proposed roads into inaccessible parts of City Deep. (City of
ore. Unrecognisable after just months, is perhaps of little
Johannesburg Transportation Dept. 2009: 17)
importance because the people who see it are nomadic, their trucks, their homes.
“The French vague has Latin and Germanic origin. The German Woge refers to sea swell, significantly alluding to movement, oscillation, instability and fluctuation.” (Davidson: 1995) “Each Generic City has a waterfront, not necessarily with water – it can also be a desert, for instance – but at least an edge where it meets another condition, as if a position of near escape is the best guarantee for its enjoyment.” (Koolhaas 1995: 1257)
“It is clear that the form of a city or of a metropolis will not exhibit some gigantic, stratified order. It will be a complicated pattern, continuous and whole, yet intricate and mobile.” (Lynch 1960: 119)
The expansion of City Deep is unattainable, indeterminate from the highway. Its terrain vague is a patchwork which can neither be understood from the ‘google’ perspective nor at a zoomed in, speciﬁc point. This landscape cannot be disassociated from the forces which created it. It is only understood after one knows the political history as well as the social understanding of the marginalized workers of the hostels. The power and control of freight, the systems of
City. The industrial, the modern and the post-modern are
series of spaces generated by the blockhouse1 buildings
revealed in layers. The city’s past is evident most strongly
or the gaps between them. Rather, buildings are the mere
because it is a space where aesthetic value has not been
edges around which pedestrians rush, trucks grumble,
of primary concern. Functional performance favoured over
ﬂowers auctioned, and containers packed. The structure
articulation and beauty, the site is raw in use, exposed,
of City Deep has emerged through a viscosity by which
unadorned. The collage does not reveal its edges so easily.
goods enter and leave and a movement of mechanisms and
One has to look closely to ﬁnd each element singularly,
machines. City Deep is a liquid landscape. It is a land of
operational in function and economy. Elements blur.
ﬂow, ﬂuid in that its existence belongs to trucks and trains
transportation, the exploitation of earth, the spectacle of a mining Johannesburg. An understanding beyond order and disorder, layers of history must come into place prior to the physicality of the terrain vague. City Deep in its patchwork of programme, side-by-side functions, create solid and void linkages of varying scale. City Deep belongs to the Collage
and the mining businesses that process its mountains of soil. City Deep exists as an arrangement of spaces, the vestiges of an industrial age, generated by the mass of production houses and corporations. City Deep is not understood as a
Buildings at City Deep reminisce of blockhouses, in that they exist as isolated forts, standing solitary yet strong, defensive against an enemy which perhaps is its own users. The British built cheap corrugated-iron masonry structures during the Anglo-Boer War. Transnet customs office as well as the George Goch hostel are both reminisce of the clay-coloured blockhouses in their detachment from context. 1
The notion of edge is three-dimensional in this instance.
changing instead. Adapting for survival, difﬁcult to capture,
image perspectives. The immense highway cutting through
Edges exist between cultures, between deposits of history,
perhaps ebbing and ﬂowing between legal and illegal.
Kazerne highlights the periphery and distinguishes urban
between programmes. What transpires is an edge. The
transition. The M2 speciﬁcally holds iconic in that it splits the
hostels as historical edge, train lines as timeous edges,
Johannesburg’s true icon is Modernism’s highway. The
revealing their disuse, highway as physical, and literal edge.
encircling ring-road, built after Johannesburg’s industrial ﬂourish, is the supreme edge. It limits the central business
Bremner speaks of the “others make visible the highly
district and announces the beginning of the southern
complex networks of small-scale, informal, ﬂuid social and
industrial sprawl. The M2 highway brings Johannesburg
economic associations and dependencies upon which an
residents into the Kazerne district unawares. If one passes
increasing number of people’s lives depend.” (Bremner
east-west along this route, container depots amidst veld
2005: 44) when describing how immigrants into the city make
planes emerge ghostly, yet vivid through their vast sprawl.
use of the city, exercising new social structures. The activities
In most other cities, freight depots are exiled outwards
she describes do not rest upon structure stagnant, but
where land is less valuable and beyond the range of city
container patchwork from city chaos. Its east-west trajectory “now disﬁgured with weather streaks” (Chipkin 2008:16) simultaneously divides a vertical city from a horizontal expansion.
“Speed distance obliterates the notion of physical dimension. dim ” (Armitage 2000: 76)
The highway is an obscure icon in that it eludes to pure programme, hyper-programme. This plateau of swiftness and slowness was built for efficient organization, unadulterated speed, masses of people sharing the same moment. “it can last five minutes or forty; it can be shared with almost nobody, or with the entire population.” (Koolhaas 1995: 1251)
off ramp. Their path continues into Transnet’s Kazerne region north of the M2, a space covered in highveld grass and crumbling ruins of a once industrial epoch. The exodus of trucks from the highway, transcend into yards where freight containers are held and their customs cleared. This precinct acts as would any ‘wet’ or sea port. City Deep is a sea, its landscape vast and ﬂuid, its trucks viscous, its roads and highways, streams and rivers.
City Deep is synchronically linked to the highway. It looms over endless undulating veld. What Main Reef Road once did for east-west access and circulation sprouting from the
Drawing by author indicating sound pollution emerging from highway.
George Goch Station, the M2 now does for people moving across, into and out of the city precinct. Truckers enter City Deep terminal port by exiting the highway at the Maritzburg
“The road is thus the human-made equivalent of the river that shaped so much of the land we inhabit. It creates connections and barriers, cuts into the land to create breaks in the undulating terrain and generates activity on its banks.” (Betsky 2000)
R E S I L I E N T
C I T I E S
The resilience of Johannesburg is relevant to its survival as a global city as well as its capacity for transition. All new architectural and urban strategies should aid the nature and pace of social, spacial and economic transformations which Johannesburg requires. In today’s global economy, where the wealth divide is at its greatest, it appears that
“Resilience has provided a useful overarching perspective to link different themes and thereby lend coherence to the analysis. It is complementary to, rather than a substitute for, other important analytical tools and concepts. Resilience implies the ability of urban systems and institutions to accommodate different sources of change and adapt to a state of flux.” (City of Johannesburg, Urban Planning department, 2011: 184)
being nomadic in nature. That which has the markings of a social transition, this landscape, is subject to the chaos and disorder which is apparent in the hostels, informal settlements and the abandoned buildings. If this terrain is recognised as beneﬁcial for the city of Johannesburg, and furthermore sees the construction of anthropologically-
our task, as educated people, shall be to relive narrow or
The state of ﬂux in which City Deep exists, is owed to it
exclusionary unsustainable economic growth. Although
City Deep is historically, a region of controversial social
architects are merely activists of the constructed landscape
adversity. The communities within the George Goch hostels
of Johannesburg, we must consider the inertia which
as well as the truck drivers and Transnet’s workers are a
a building possesses. This inertia may perhaps relieve
‘nomadic’ group of people owing to the transient nature of
some of the social and environmental difﬁculties of current
their existence within the city. When railways or industrial
day Johannesburg. Our world is rapidly advancing in
infrastructure is constructed by an itinerant manual labour
technological ability, while Johannesburg is perceived as
force, there is a social impact on the surrounding social
an ideal landscape, promising opportunities of employment,
spheres. (Carpenter, 1995: 23) The huge unemployment
resulting in domestic and international migrations, yet
rate of men in the hostels and both men and women in the
so many people remain without its beneﬁts. (City of
informal settlement transpire to the need of a localized facility
Johannesburg, Urban Planning department, 2011)
which provides sustainable working conditions.
based infrastructures, a certain resilience may begin to take shape. If certain social phenomenon are acknowledged and allowed to ﬂourish, new economies might begin to absorb the lack of order and social anarchy. What reveals itself architecturally, is that institutional type buildings have proven to be somewhat inappropriate in the face of current unstable economies, whereas more hybridised typologies lend to the nurturing of impoverished communities, while still allowing corporate industries to continue to grow and shrink concurrently
Previous page: Underside of M2 highway looking east, at junction between Johannesburg CBD and Kazerne. Photograph taken by author 04/06/2011. Following page: Grindrod Intermodal container yard in the Kazerne depot, looking backing towards the city of Johannesburg. Photograph taken by author 27/09/2011.
Full TEUs pass through City Deep and Kazerne depot by rail
Empty TEUs to City Deep and Kazerne from private companies
110 000 Full TEUs from City Deep and Kazerne to clients in Gauteng
C ITY D EEP
GAUTENG RAIL TERMINAL
PACK / UNPACK
EMPTY CONTAINER STORAGE DEPOTS
320 000 TEUs unpacked at Durban and Port Elizabeth transported as loose cargo to Gauteng
160 000 Full TEUs transported by road to Gauteng
I N W A R D
F L O W
O F F F R E I G H T
Current estimates from the City Council indicate the number of JHB
containers transported from Durban and Port Elizabeth ports to Gauteng is roughly 640 000 TEUâ€™s per annum. (TEU - Twenty foot equivalent unit/ standard 6 meter container). from this amount, 25% are transported by rail. Another 25% is transported as full containers by road direct to customers in land. A remaining 50 % is unpacked
DURBAN Durban 95% of TEUs Port Elizabeth 5% of TEUs
at the ports and transported in a variety of methods as loose cargo, known as break bulk goods. The average container arriving at City Deep or Kazerne would have been handled an average of 3,65 times. (City of Johannesburg Transportation Department: 2009 : 14)
130 000 Full TEUs leave City Deep and Kazerne headed for Durban or Port Elizabeth by road
156 000 100 000 Full TEUs transported to City Deepand Kazerne from private companies to travel to Durban or Port Elizabeth by Road
Full TEUs from City Deep and Kazerne to clients in Gauteng by Road
GAUTENG RAIL TERMINAL
PACK / UNPACK
150 000 28 000 Full TEUs transported by road to Durban or Port Elizabeth
EMPTY CONTAINER STORAGE DEPOTS
Empty TEUs transported by rail to Durban or Port Elizabeth
O U T W A R D
F L O W
O F F
F R E I G H T
The number of containers transported from City Deep and Kazerne JHB
as well as those not travelling through container terminals amounts to approximately 306 000 TEUâ€™s per annum. (TEU - Twenty foot equivalent unit/ standard 6 meter container). Of this amount, roughly 150 000 move through City Deep with the destination of Durban. (City of Johannesburg Transportation Department: 2009 : 15)
DURBAN Durban 95% of TEUs Port Elizabeth 5% of TEUs
Diagram indicating the evolution of freight transport at City Deep and Kazerne. (City of Johannesburg Transportation Department: 2009: p 7) Photograph below of the interior of Kazerne depot yard, taken 05/07/2011.
built-up area SITE outcrop of Main Reef and dip
railway line river
Freight and passenger railway lines heading into Johannesburg. (adapted from Beavon, K. 2000. Johannesburg, Making and Shaping of the City. University of South Africa Press, Pretoria. p 39)
“What is to be done with these enormous voids, with their imprecise limits and vague definition? Art’s reaction, as before with “nature” (which is also the presence of the other for the urban citizen), is to preserve these alternative, strange spaces.” (Sola-Morales,1995:122)
INTENTION T H E O R Y
D E S I G N
City Deep’s fragmentation across railway lines calls for a
Ameliorant refers to a substance which horticulturalists use
intervention as liquid ameliorant holds eminent in its viscous
coherent system in the image of public space, is this public
to improve the condition of a plant’s roots. The intentions of
form. It must incorporate this ‘google scale’, weaving through
present? Does my public not isolate themselves in hostel
my proposals for this site will be for spatial intervention to act
the site/through the soil, reaching intimate destinations and
commons or Transnet ofﬁces, their truck bodies or their
as contextual ameliorant. City Deep’s soil is a toxic from the
milestones of a greater context.
mine dumps, slimes dames and industrial process littered along the reef. Intervention to act as rectiﬁcation, perhaps
“The ‘terrain vague’ runs contrary to the desired image
process, something including vegetative and indigenous
This strange and ever-changing site is beautiful because
of a prosperous city.” (Lévesque 2002) The structures of
substance, rectifying a quality of the nature of the site.
it is vacant and because it holds capacity and potential.
the hostels, city blemishes, mimic the eye sore which the
Design as ameliorant strengthens the need to address the
Speciﬁcity will discontinue its ﬂow. Structure devoted to
lives of the people living in the hostels entail. The passerby
historical roots of this site, hostel history, and the depth of the
function will, through its tightness and strictness, hinder
would rather look away. These terrains disrupt the so called
demographic of its populace. Transnet as industrial empire –
ﬂuidity of existing structures and programme. Peoples
image of the city, the ideal. Lévesque denotes that the quick
its historical bond with corporate Johannesburg’s commerce,
programme, free programme, movement of multifunctional
superﬁcial ﬁx of traditional landscaping, parking bays or high
is also of importance in that it retains economic power over a
cities. This site calls for an intervention which can take the
maintenance parkland remains as inappropriate solution.
number of truck drivers and train operators. The roots of City
weight of ﬂexibility, a surface which can be impregnated by
Ameliorant as spatial intervention must run deeper into this
Deep descend deeply because its history is deep. Design
relevant and ﬂuid program.
CASE STUDIES P R O J E C T S
I N T E R E S T
The â€˜google scaleâ€™ of City Deep calls for scale appropriate linked matrices, organisation of the open spaces, both relating to movement ease, pedestrian participation, and process. Voids as urban corridors must bridge this periphery to the city. Where once, railway lines brought in the commodities of Johannesburg, vital and nutritious for the cities radial growth, their redundancy now dislocates City Deep from the constantly emerging city. The original link to City Deep stands withered. At this scale, this context calls for a framework which adheres to the various stations of the entire site. This framework acts as continual surface, water-like, programmatically integrating parts of City Deep. At a smaller scale, this surface allows for the planting of appropriate and speciďŹ c programme.
S C H O U W B U R G P L E I N F I R M YEAR TYPE P L AC E
West 8 1991-1996 Public Square Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Adriaan Geuze of West 8 argues ‘emptiness’ over hyperprogramming (Corner 1999: 233-249) investing assurance that people of the city will inhabit spaces of freedom rather than strict spaces, unsuitable for today’s social expeditions. This public square rectiﬁes the urban dislocation of parts of the old city destroyed by German bombs in 1940.
“If in the traditional European city, the urban square was the place where civic and religious power was represented, then West 8’s contemporary Binnenrotte market square and Schouwburgplein are zones where the public appropriates and modifies the very surface of the city. The surfaces are extremely simple and spare, yet they are designed in such a way that many different events can be supported.” (Corner 1999: 242)
V A L U E A-programmatic space used as link, offering opportunities for civic life, the design emphasizes the importance of a void
Image x. http://www.panoramio.com/photo/10163310 received 05/10/2011
Y O K O H A M A F I R M YEAR TYPE P L AC E
M A S T E R P L A N
OMA 1992 Masterplan Yokahama, Japan
OMAâ€™s Urban Design Forum scheme for Yokohama, Japan 1992 was dealing with abandoned territories woven through a port terminal and harbour activity. Existing assemblies comprised two great markets, active only between 4:00 am and 10:00 am. (Koolhaas 2005: 1219) Composed agendas would need to occur on the proposed site for the remainder of the day. The proposed scheme involved a type of warped plane, amorphous and informal, programmed according to relevant necessity. Certain interventions merely provoke functions and activity. To allow effective use of site the Design Forum is a surface, it is warped and folded to create a continuous ďŹ eld, drawing parallels with terrain vague. This ribbon is then impregnated with structure. A 24 hour use chart represents the heterogeneous nature of activity of a single day. Various surface strategies are used in instigating social and public agents
V A L U E Masterplan where new programme is injected.
CONCLUSION - A SET OF TOOLS Proposal intentions will be carried out according to the
Consider time and design for an impermanence. Materials
This allows an urban continuity, limits the isolated nature
and structural elements all have a life span. In this
of City Deep to its surrounding southern suburbs and the
spontaneous and ﬂeeting world where everything can
CBD. Additionally allowing it a sustainability regarding its
Terrain vague runs contrary to a complete colonizing. The
be replaced and nothing is repaired. With road tolls and
immediate environmental state as well as a long term future.
city of Johannesburg still requires ‘pore’ spaces for growth
advances in rail technology. Perhaps trucks may one day
and as preservation of a terrain as a future comodity.
become redundant. Service men will always exist because
Urban context. Design the strip, the edge, barrier zone,
humanity needs to control and maintain the cities in which
threshold in order for this building to properly have urban
they live. The proposed building must services the human
access to allow sustainability. Although the masterplan
body as a machine is serviced.
suggests a ‘complete’ development of the site, this is not
Assess and speculate that which would increase efﬁciency of the processes on this site (as a generic building would) then add the scale and needs of the human being (that which operates at a different scale). Further and additionally, include a regard for natural landscape surroundings. Minimum footprint, maximum beneﬁt for human societies
the case. Instead, it requires a scheme which runs over The notions of ‘Terrain Vague’ are to be applied onto the
the site, merging it into its urban context without applying
site from the perspectives that it is a edge and that its only
a ‘ﬁx’. Terrain vague must ﬂow around, over and under
constant is that it is transient in nature. I am addressing the
my proposed building, in order for it to last, it cannot be
element of time by overlaying a master plan onto the site.
stagnant or isolated but it must be programmed according to
This masterplan extends from the conducted research.
PA RT 2 D e s i g n
R e s p o n s e
PA RT 2 D e s i g n
R e s p o n s e
Precedent - Potteries Thinkbelt
Precedent - St. Josephâ€™s
Technology and Process
Road map of route between Johannesburg and Durban redrawn from Google Earth.
Below photograph by author, looking into Cape Town Industrial Harbour from South Arm road. Photograph taken on 23 March 2011. Road map of route between Johannesburg and Cape Town redrawn from Google Earth.
C ape T o w n - M arch 2 0 1 1
For me to understand how freight logistics operates in South
photograph anything. At City Deep, I was left alone most of the
are littered with block house sheds with corrugated iron
Africa, I wanted to visit both Durban and Cape Town ports to
time to photograph the depots and containers as I pleased.
roofs around which fences (secure in the case of Cape Town
gather the differences between the container yards in dock
Every one of the equipment and machinery operators were
and damaged in the case of Johannesburg). Both Kazerne
harbours and those in Johannesburg’s “dry port” of City Deep.
wearing the correct vest, boots and hardhat while in Kazerne,
and Cape Town Industrial Port move containers at great
Some starting dissimilarities transpired. I was shocked at
only those driving the The strangeness of this comparison
pace using forklifts driven by experienced workers. Perhaps
the manner in which identical processes took place. In Cape
is that both of these pieces of land are owned and run by
Kazerne could beneﬁt from the efﬁciency of Cape Town’s
Town’s approach of precision of each action was clinical.
Transnet, (South African government part-owned) (City of
operation, however, currently Johannesburg continues to
Instead of disorder, and miscommunication, there was military
Johannesburg Transportation Department: 2009) while their
perform through the midst of chaos and despite the lack
level of operation. Tight security prevented me from entering
security systems are quiet varying. The architecture generated
of any advanced type of architecture or structure. What
into the docks and container yards, and I was disallowed to
from ports is of similar standard and generic nature. Both sites
container yards need, it appears, is merely more space.
Below photograph by author, taken at Durban’s beach front from ‘funicular’ . Photograph taken on 16/04/2011.
Road map of route between Johannesburg and Durban redrawn from Google Earth. Opposite photograph by author, taken in ‘Muti Market’ of Warwick Junction on 15/042011.
Durban - April 2011
EXPLORATION E D G E
M A S T E R C L A S S
One particular inﬂuence on my design process was architect
healing and medical goods as well as merchandise to
The comparative, Durban’s central beach front has an
Elena Rocchi. Having come from EMBT and Universitat de
people passing through an urban link. This intervention was
un-speciﬁcally designed nature yet still adheres to an
Barcelona, she convinced myself and three other students to
designed around the economies and dynamics of informality.
a-programmatic ideal, allowing users much freedom. From
embark on a journey to Durban for a four day workshop from
(Knipe 2008:88). The success of Warwick Junction lies in
what I uncovered while exploring this area, was that this very
14 to 17 April 2011. After visiting Warwick Junction, Durban
that trade capitalises upon people’s route. This opens new
‘a-programmed’ space is usable but does not maintain great
City by Richard Dobson Architect, we returned to a beach
opportunities for proposed programmed spaces. Boys
amounts of users such as Warwick Junction. This could be
front studio where we conceptualised and then proposed
playing pool, people shopping, traders awaiting transport
put down to its lack of speciﬁc spaces, its aversion to hyper-
ideas relating to “edge”. The paradox with which we were
all at close proximity to a main arterials underlines the
presented, was that between a pristine beach front and
importance of activities at the “edge”. This edge provides
Warwick Junction. Similar to Kwa Mai Mai cultural market in
promise for activities to be fulﬁlled owing to the nature of
Johannesburg, this space allows traders to sell traditional
people’s everyday journeys.
1 “hyper-programming” is used by Betsky when describing how a highway has one function, while Durban beach front has endless freedom and opportunity perhaps rendering the site too vast and open for activity.
Paper model of an â€˜edgeâ€™ where land meets sea. Our coastline begins to fall into the ocean owing to global warming crisis. Made by author during Durban Masterclass, 16/04/2011
Above sketches done by author during workshop to explain the overhang of the roof changing according to the orientation of that particular unit. West and north-facing units have greater overhangs while south and east-facing units have shorter overhangs allowing sunlight into the semi-public area.
Johannesburg - May 2011
EXPLORATION P A R A M E T R I C M A S T E R C L A S S From 8 to 17 July I participated in a digital constructions,
for a privacy threshold as well as demarcated circulation
Each day in City Deep and Kazerne, particular and speciﬁc
parametric modelling design workshop. Although not
routes when laid out linearly.
processes and systems occur relentlessly without fail.
directly related to my thesis topic which was underway,
Each process and system has an architectural or physical
it did allow my current trajectory to widen. What was of
Although my thesis site presents a relatively endless open
manifestation which is reminiscent of its process. Processes
interest was how modular units (in this case social housing
terrain on which to design, what I extrapolated from this
here, are made visual by replication and often pattern of
enclosures) ﬁt together and how the parametric variables
particular journey was that replication of a structure or
material or structure. The archaic railway line, at one end of
of each could be manipulated according to the proximity of
fabrication does not necessarily yield monotony. Instead,
City Deep’s timeline, is an endless journey of concrete railway
clustering and weather conditions. Similar to containers and
the use of standard materials, having been slightly ‘tweaked’
sleeper connected by a thread of steel rail. At the other
their ability to ﬁt together and lock into place, myself and
according to variables, leads to appropriately programmed
end, City Deep’s newest structure, a generic steel shed, is a
6 others designed a unit which was driven by the notion of
structures. Bespoke construction materials do not always
mere lineup of steel truss. Monotony in this case, allows for
clustering. Shack housing in informal settlements congests to extremities owing to space shortages. Regarding space efﬁciency, we designed each unit the target that four units could back into each other creating a group. This also allows
produce special or beautiful architecture, and more interestingly does not mean that the architecture will be used.
a freedom and a ﬂexibility of space. Generically designed modules also allow for freedom and ﬂexibility. Speciﬁcally varied and ‘tweaked’ use of the same standard element makes for a more speciﬁc, more efﬁcient use of space.
Right: Exploded axonometric drawing for fabrication, showing how pieces lock into one another to provide structural stability
Left: 1:1 social housing unit as final outcome from a group of 8 students, exhibited on the 17 July 2011. â€œBrown Box Brown Roofâ€? for Digital Fabrications Workshop Photo taken by author.
H I S T O R I C A L
S E D I M E N T S
The conceptual models on the previous page were design explorations into the landscape as a layered element. The imbedding of copper wires mimic the railway lines of City Deep and Kezerne in that they lie submerged under dirt and litter. City Deep in its entirety, is layered with sediments, each explaining the industrial narrative of Johannesburgâ€™s history. This indicates that in order for any intervention to occur on this site, a sensitively towards its marked and scarred history must envelope the built design.
Right images: The geological subsurface beneath Johannesburg CBD. (From Beavon, K. 2000. Johannesburg, Making and Shaping of the City. University of South Africa Press, Pretoria. p 5) Below drawings: The history of the site in landscape form. â€˜Ameliorantâ€™ commonly known as a soil fertilizer is used to describe the proposed intervention in that it is antidotal for an abused terrain.
H E A L T H Y
T E R R A I N
S I C K
T E R R A I N
T E R R A I N
V A G U E
Montage showing Madeley Transfer Area - a motorway road link . This station provides facilities that are programmed specifically yet through mechanical technologies such as gantries and cranes, a flexibility is established. Cellular variation in capsule housing accomplishes is appropriate in that it serves short to medium term visiting staff. (Price, 1984: 24)
PRECEDENT 1 - TECHNICAL
P O T T E R I E S ARCH YEAR TYPE P L AC E
T H I N K B E L T
Cederic Price 1964 Conceptual Education Straffordshire, England
“If in the traditional European city, the urban square was the place where civic and religious power was represented, then West 8’s contemporary Binnenrotte market square and Schouwburgplein are zones where the public appropriates and modifies the very surface of the city. The surfaces are extremely simple and spare, yet they are designed in such a way that many different events can be supported.” (Corner 1999: 242) “Price had been chided on occasions for the way in which he can raise his enthusiasm for the technology of a corrugated iron shed as easily as for the very latest sophisticated manifestation of human response-electronics.”
freedom of that which architecture can symbolise. (Price,
grounds. For Joan Littlewood and Cedric Price, it would be
fun if the visitor could be stimulated or informed, could react
His sterile portal frame structures, stalk in his drawings are compensated by the ideal, the spectacle and the technology
The Potteries Thinkbelt exude a notion of impermanence.
Price’s Potteries Thinkbelt of 1964. This 100 square mile site
Programmed to house science and technology subjects,
in the decaying industrial town of Staffordshire poses an
both of which change and update erratically through the
alternative to the institution that is tertiary education. Price
advancing of modern society, the Potteries reﬂect these
establishes the importance of inaction and action in the
ﬂeeting and elusive life-spans. Criteria for speciﬁc and
architectural world. In this case, the proposed architecture
speculative requirements with predictable existences was on
was appropriate for a limited period of time, in thrusting this
what Price based the philosophy behind this proposal.
decaying rail town out of its indolence. The rejection of the traditional ‘gentlemanly’ education of England in the 1950s sought its anecdote in this industry, providing a surplus of economic remuneration but more importantly a new age freedom through scientiﬁc education. Such was the case,
in 1961. (Price, 1984:11).
avant-garde views upon a theory which challenged current bureaucratic systems and standards. His projects unleash, vortex-like, from his belief that human beings may become constricted and damaged by the architectural institution, likewise can be liberated and enhanced by appropriate
withdraw.” (price, 1984:11)
which responds appropriately. This technology substantiates
when Joan Littlewood commissioned Price the ‘Fun Palace’ From an ethical perspective, Price placed his modernist and
or interact, but if none of these suited, had the freedom to
Similar to a somewhat situational existence of City Deep’s rusted and disused railway lines, the railway systems of Staffordshire were superﬂuous to the nations network. Having placed new demands onto this railway line, new connections to adjacent derelict land would act as catalytic action in these undeveloped terrains. Price recognised the value in this land, not because it allows an alternative
“and she was to describe this proposal as a laboratory of
from the density of urban facilities but because it gave
fun and a university of the streets. In this project, planned for
rise to a limitless ‘imaginarium’ of transport interchange,
the Isle of Dogs in London’s East End, the idea of fun was
communication exchange and social inclusion instead of an
not interpreted as passive entertainment as in the amuse-
me ethic later to be adopted in the Walt Disney pleasure
The injection of a new programme into a previously imbalanced urban setting rases this project to an urban level while still attending to a speciﬁc detailed structure. Although transient in nature, with a focus on the hybrid of social and educational wellbeing, the structure is highly speciﬁc. Architecture for process must align towards these speciﬁc needs. The processes of City Deep are housed by buildings which have either been successful or those which now remain obsolete. The allowance for economic ﬂux and change through technological advancement must not be confused with unprogrammed spaces. Architecture must reveal an appropriate and speciﬁc existence in order to serve its correct function, while maintaining a ﬂexibility toward time and era, ensuring its standard of efﬁciency.
Shipping containers are today used in architecture where
render as over over-programmed programmed because they are non-speciﬁc non speciﬁc
they serve as a module in accommodating various functions.
and generic to the processes which occur below their roof
Student residences, ofﬁce space and temporary festival
spans, while speciﬁc programmes are more advanced in
structures have used both 6 and 12 meter containers owing
that they are not over-designed and over-proportioned. In
to the ease of which these monocoque structures can be
this current epoch, that which is typical of Johannesburg’s
stacked vertically and horizontally. The Potteries Thinkbelt
post industrial identity, ﬂexibility in architectural process
likewise, uses a module unit to house student and tutor
buildings can be achieved through ‘lightness’ and a capacity
accommodation. His ‘crate housing’ has the capacity to grow
to be recycled. The heavy concrete structures at City Deep,
and shrink vertically and horizontally to the requirements
with their ﬁxed roof heights and cumbersome columns now
of its users. This technological aspect of the proposal also
lie, unyieldingly stubborn amongst overgrown shrubbery
reveals the relationship of the human ergonomic scale to that
and high grass. These clues, to my proposed structure,
of an engineered transport system. Process architecture is
further my trajectory towards lightweight steel structures,
often characterised by the scale of inhumane proportions.
those which can be recycled or may house future operations
These large volumes and often underused spaces often
when this land has seen to it that its functions are no longer
materialise from the intention of ﬂexibility. The spaces often
Above and left: images showing Potteries Thinkbelt by Cederic Price. Indicating the change in scale from human to machine and from building module to urban layout (Price, 1984: 24)
ST . J O S E P H â€™S R E B U I L D C E NT R E ARCH YEAR TYPE P L AC E
Wayne Troyer Architects 2007 Day centre for the homeless
The programme of this centre is interesting in that it seeks to provide basic facilities for people who were economically devastated through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Although contributing to the urban fabric of Louisiana, New Orleans, this building is based on a social phenomenon where a public is impoverished. Construction materials are appropriately economical, sustainable and require little maintenance.
V A L U E Precedent lies in the functioning of facilities and their relation to one another. Hot meals, showers, medical and ďŹ nancial assistance administer to three categories of people. Those which are chronically homeless, even prior to Hurricane Katrina, those which are newly impoverished and thirdly, an immigrant population who came to New Orleons in search of work. Environmental and structural criteria were met through the use of construction materials. The structure touches the ground softly while maintaining the ability to withstand wind loads of up to 210 kilometers per hour as per requirements. Modular trailers were renovated and correctly insulated and further used as medical facilities. Most of the structural components are recyclable, easily disassembled and reused.
PRECEDENT 2 - PROGRAMMATIC
Below and opposite images taken by Troyer, W. of St. Josephâ€™s rebuild Centre. http://www.studiowta.com/images/portfolio/ studioWTARebuildCenter.pdf visited 18/10/2011 11:06 pm.
T R U C K
D R I V E R S
N A M E C O M PA N Y T I T L E D A T E
Imran Ocean Land Cargo Truck driver 26/09/2011
Imran is 52 years old and lives in Soweto. He catches ches a taxi s truck from every morning to City Deep where he collects his OceanLand Cargo Terminal in Houer Road, City Deep. This Deep to a morning his particular journey took him from City Deep, private company in Midrand. He collected an empty container and delivered it to Kazerne container terminal where it will be railed back to Durban. The importing of goods using shipping containers is greater than exporting of goods in South Africa. Empty containers are thus required to be transported back to Durbanâ€™s port and shipped back to Asia or India from where most goods come. Imran works from approximately 8:00 to 18:00 6 days a week. Every few weeks he will drive a truck to Durban and back again without stopping to sleep.
Imran sits inside his decorated truck, he is waiting in a truck queue for the empty container to be removed off his vehicle using Transnetâ€™s container forklifts. Photograph by author 26/09/2011.
N A M E C O M PA N Y T I T L E D A T E
Prakesh BidFreight Intermodal Truck driver 05/07/2011
Prakesh is 29 years old and lives in the southern hern suburbs of Johannesburg. He drives to collect his truck at BidFreight along Heidelberg Road, City Deep. He collects full containers mpanies within from Transnetâ€™s depot and delivers them to companies k if not on the Gauteng. He spends most of his day in his truck, road, waiting at either City Deep or Kazerne terminal depots. He says Kazerne needs more forklifts because trucks queue outside the depot, waiting for containers to be moved from depot stacks to trucks. His axle cannot carry the load of a very full or heavy 6 meter container. The structural integrity of containers has increased so that they can now carry up to 33.5 tons. (City of Johannesburg Transportation Dept. 2009: 18) His truck can carry only 24 tons. After collecting each container he drives onto the single weigh bridge at Kazerne depot where the capacity of his axle is checked. City Deep in comparison own 3 weigh bridges and the process he says, is much quicker and therefore less frustrating for him.
N A M E C O M PA N Y T I T L E D A T E
Henson Grindrod Intermodel Truck driver 26/09/2011
Henson is a 54 year old Zimbabwean truck driver. He is delivering a container ďŹ lled with tobacco which he collected from a tobacco plant the afternoon before. He delivers regularly from Zimbabwe to Grindrod Intermodal, Kazerne. He usually spends the night at a truck stop in Pomona, Johannesburg where he knows his truck and cargo will be safe owing to the number of truck drivers who spend the night sleeping in the yard before they travel back to their home countries. He sleeps on the bed in the back of his truck. He works 7 days a week and drives overnight but can only deliver to Kazerne during working hours from 8:00 - 18:00 Monday to Saturday.
N A M E C O M PA N Y T I T L E D A T E
Simon Trans-Tech Truck driver 26/09/2011
Simon is 48 and drives trucks between South Africa and Malawi. He is delivering a 12 meter container ďŹ lled with tobacco from which he collected at Lilongwe, an in-land depot terminal in Malawi. Malawi exports cotton, timber, pulses, and grains other than tobacco into South Africa. All these products have to be delivered to Kazerne or City Deep if they are travelling in containers. He is given an allowance for the accommodation he uses throughout journey. He usually stays in Zimbabwean hostels where truck drivers frequent for a few hours late at night. His truck does not have a bed, which he says is better, forcing him to stretch his legs. He says he is healthy but suffers from a sore back. He has a family in Lilongwe but works 7 days a week and says he does not get paid enough.
URBAN INTERVENTION B R I D G I N G
G A P
City Deep and Kazerne railway yards sprawl throughout a large and sparse terrain yet its segregation as a supposedly secure area does not compensate for the surrounding communities. Once pushed to the outskirts of the city, the urban fabric now envelopes this terrain, evincing it as an part of the city. It remains however, as treacherous shortcut from the Fresh Produce Market and the George Goch hostels. As a phenomenon, Kazerne is comprises of a specific set of circumstances, which belong to Johannesburgâ€™s natural environment. This environment is an artificial one, in that it is a dumping ground for the waste produce of an industrial era of mining. It has since been forgotten, itâ€™s ruined buildings amidst container yards, the workings of industry and bustle of hostel life, ironically the city has flooded over this landscape. What remains imperative is that this site be recognized as link into the city.
Right : drawing of desire lines from regular site visits at different times in the day. Red lines indicate an assumed homeless or vagrant population crossing dense veld while black desire lines indicate the paths of people from the Fresh Produce Market into the CBD and from the George Goch Hostels at the top right side of the site.
1.) _ Current dual carriageway into Transnetâ€™s Kazerne despatch depot 2.) _ Urban proposal for single-way, entry andexit for trucks and Transnet staff. 3.) _ Public route from Ruven road to Maritzburg street, from hostel complex to taxi rank
4.) _ Truck facility as buffer between public road and truck route. Building demonstrates the gradient between a secure corporate container depot and a public route into town.
URBAN a. b. c.
1. 2. 3. 4.
102 10 2
PUBLIC ROUTE / SERVICE FEED NEW TRUCK ROUTE ADJACENT RAILWAY LINES
TRUCK MAINTENANCE DIESEL CANTEEN, SPAZA & TAKE AWAY BASIC HEALTH CLINIC AND DIAGNOSIS
Trucks arriving with full containers in a queue along Kazerne’s single road into Transnet’s container depot. Trucks queue so that their axle
Trucks arriving empty in order to collect containers exit after checking through security. This road currently is dual-carriage with a small turning circle
capacity can be tested on Kazerne’s single
at one end and no throughfare. If this road were one
weigh bridge before containers are moved from
way with an exit security check point and dual weigh
truck to rail to be transported to Durban.
bride, freight turnover time would increase. In turn, relieving congestion on City Deep interior roads and Heidelberg Roads.
103 1 10 3
STRUCTURAL INTERVENTION P
The design process relating to this thesis has not been
conscious registering of change in space. Similarly, change
performance, assisting in the process of container collection
linear. Instead it has been a journey where its beginning and
in terrain, denotes the distance a truck driver has travelled,
and assisting in human wellbeing. A “refuel” at two different
its end is deﬁnitive. Each chapter along this process has
at what point along his route he now sits, and how far he
scales. Seemingly, the architecture becomes irrelevant and
had a speciﬁc purpose and inﬂuence to which, ultimately, a
has to still travel. Similar to the road route of a truck driver
circulation becomes primary. What does allow for tectonic
systematic process evinces. Like the route across a distance
entering Kazerne a sequence of actions unfold, with varying
intervention is threshold. Threshold becomes that which is
where a driver departs, refuels, rests, collects, delivers,
importance. The architecture which this site and these
beautiful and that which is deﬁnitive. The mark of change,
and returns home. To this journey there is a pinnacle point,
systems call for must adhere to movement and circulation,
this is benchmark of each journey. As a truck driver would
a most important function, for the driver, it is the collection
both of a truck at appropriate scale and of a human, at a
experience change in terrain along a journey marking the
and delivery. Likewise when one enters a building, there
human scale. Starting from a pinnacle place of importance,
kilometres he has covered, physical thresholds marked
is a focal point in circulation path, a reception, or foyer.
one of departure, further embarking upon a route, from where
by change in ﬂow or circulation and change in materiality,
From here, the hierarchy of movement unravels and ﬁnally,
programmatic spaces branch outwards, these movements
change marking the programmatic events unfolding. This
one circulates back and out of the building. Physical and
and thresholds are of what the building is conceived. From
architectural thresholds in buildings, are what causes the
here, one moves through the functions which assist in
Right : photograph by author 02/04/2011 06:00 am of disused crates at Kazerne container depot. Crates became redundant when containers were introduced into freight logistics. The future possibility is that container may someday become superfluous if a more efficient solution comes about. What will we do with the mass amounts of containers around the world?
The programmes which I have introduced to this site are new. Kazerne has not seen this formalized type of truck
consequently beneﬁtting surrounding communities as well as
often do not know what the contents of their containers hold.
the employees of City Deep’s industry.
They merely know their collection point, their route and their
workshop in its very layered and fragmented history. More importantly, this new programme is speciﬁc to its location.
Kazerne was initially designed around bulk cargo and break
The programmatic response of this thesis unfolded though
bulk cargo. With the invention of containers as modular
research into the larger site, it came about in recognition and
units of freight, the manner in which the site is used, has
relation to the functioning processes which occur in proximity
changed. This veriﬁes the site’s great open air sheds which
to the Kazerne depot. I have ‘borrowed’ programmes from
lie in crumbling ruin. With the onset of the container, came
surrounding areas, modifying them in response to what the
the need for the container transporting truck. These trucks
site beckons. Kazerne, as an isolated terrain (like a water
tower over their drivers monstrously, somewhat barbaric and
body), separates these programmes of the south, from the
hugely taxing on their operators. As modern day slaves to
inner city. This intervention seeks to rectify the broken link
the economy’s ﬂuctuations, these drivers drive across South
into the city, creating a platform for satellite operations,
Africa while responsible for their container. Ironically they
destination. Their responsibility is to ensure the movement of container to its correct destination. With the onset of container growth in Southern Africa, these enormous machines induce strain and congestion on the physical condition of the country’s roads. With the future toll prices increasing, there is a greater move for trans-city container moving to happen via rail instead of road. When cargo loads are despatched off train wagons onto Johannesburg soil however, short road transit is yet to occur. Truck drivers will still need to transport goods to individuals in the Gauteng district.
M2 HIGHWAY WEST PAST JHB CBD
M2 HI G
NEW MAINTENANCE YARD NEW PETROL PUMP
Map of Kazerne within City Deep region. Dark lines indicates route of truck drivers. Comparison is to that of circulation in a single building. Scale is the element which varies.
SECU R WEIGHT BRIDGE
A workshop facility in Kazerne would benefit drivers through
a number of reasons with regard to efficiency. The design
vehicles from various truck depots in surrounding City Deep,
the mechanical means to repair their vehicles. Transnet
response in question addresses this system and supporting
Isandovale and Germiston. Trucks drive into Kazerne area,
ensures that each vehicle is tested before a container is
a healthier system, keeping in mind that Transnet plan to
fortified by the collection documents from their clients. A
collected and loaded onto the truck. Owing to the speed at
expand their Kazerne container depot. A truck workshop
basic vehicle safety check is done at the security entry point
which these operations occur, these tests are rarely done
would allow proper vehicle checking and a facility to
into the Kazerne depot. Transnet then locates the correct
daily. What is checked at each collection is the individual
administer to trucks which need maintenance or a particular
container based on its ISO number and coordinates that
axle capacity of each container truck. Weigh bridges
a part replaced. Current day Kazerne sees a myriad of
specific truck to approach the docking bay where a container
are used to test whether that particular truck can bare its
mechanical problems which truck drivers themselves have
forklift manoeuvres that specific container onto the flat bed
container’s weight. The cargo’s release papers are cleared
to resolve either there on site with their own tools or travel
of the truck. Drivers’ trucks are checked on a weigh bridge
with reference to their ISO number inscribed onto the
elsewhere into the city to arrange repairs.
in order to ascertain whether their axles can carry the load
container. The slow turnover time at this depot is owing to
Trucking companies employ drivers who collect their
of their cargo. The document is signed by the operations
M2 HIGHWAY EAST TO GERMISTON
R ITY CHECK EXIT
manager. The truck then leaves in order to deliver the
seen to their safety checks and maintenance, simultaneously
The immediate urban fabric of the Johannesburg CBD is
container. With Transnet owning all of the undeveloped land
while the correct container had been found and was ready
home to many vehicle repair shops where parts in need of
adjacent to this depot, a truck maintenance support would
for delivery by forklift. on land allowed a service facility for
repair or replacement are seen to at haste. Jeppestown,
aid in the efficiency of their system. Transnet as a para-
truck repairs, instead of trucks having to detour to different
industrially zoned is home to many panel beaters and
statal company and furthermore the South African Roads
destinations usually within the city, there would be greater
workshops where street pavements are rife with piles of
Agency, could achieve a greater understanding as well as
efficiency of freight movement and less congestion on an
scrap metal Container trucks would benefit from using
administer to and rectify the safety and state of trucks on
already pressured road system. Simultaneously their time
these workshops; however their size and enormous lengths
South African roads. The queuing of trucks in Kazerne is due
active on the road would decrease so that truck drivers could
prevent them from manoeuvring through tight urban
to the inefficient moving of containers. This proposal sees
reinforce themselves with the means to endure such long
densities with ease.
to it that trucks register with Transnet on arrival that they are
journeys. This ideally would further prevent strain on their
waiting for a specific container. while simultaneously, have
bodies decreasing road dangers to other users of South African roads.
Right : Photographs of Jeppestown and City and Suburban panel beaters and car workshops. Photographs taken by Leigh-anne Mautin for Daffonchio and Associate Architects in 2011. Bottom right photograph taken by Nerali Patel 26/03/2011. Left : Car workshop in the basement of a housing development in Delvas Street in Johannesburg. Photograph taken 26/03/2011.
Photograph taken 27/09/2011 of truck without headlight. Kazerne depot.
Photograph taken 02/09/2011 of truck needing windscreen replaced after a stone had turned up from a truck ahead of this one.
Modernity’s slave to globalization is the long distance truck driver.
by accidents, it is preferable that shipping freight containers
stresses of physical and psychological disorder (Ramjee, 2002).
The bodily strain endured across countries, across continents,
and most other cargo is transported by rail. Transportation from
They are encouraged to stop and rest every few hours by the
is surely one of the downfalls off the vast amount of commodity
the freight depots to private companies and domestic locations
logistic companies who own their trucks and from the safety
which populations move across the world’s surface. Railway
remains necessary, verifying that the role of the truck driver
corporations and unions to which they belong. Conversely, high
infrastructure in Southern Africa has had difﬁculty synchronizing
becomes timelessly attached to our economic condition. In
numbers of fatalities from road accidents continue to alarm a
with the number of shipping containers moved from ports to inland
order for ﬁnancial growth to occur, truck drivers need to remain
country where public transport and rail systems are insufﬁcient.
destinations. (City of Johannesburg Transportation Department,
The health of truck drivers is simply sacriﬁced for their daily
2009: 18). Railways are vulnerable to an innumerable mass of
jobs. Irregular schedules, a lack of regular and healthy meals,
technological, social and political problems which effect freight
and the task of maintaining their vehicles through the use of
movement and logistics. Technical and electrical faults, derailing,
A vehicle requires a certain attention and maintenance, as a
physical action add to the desperate list of chronic ills which
poor maintenance, unskilled drivers and operational staff as
human being, as a machine and operator requires their health
these men endure. “Many truck drivers are smokers and some
well as our characteristic trend of strike action, are all some of
and wellbeing. Truck drivers require an inspection, a health
report on the regular use of drugs” (Kulis, 2004: 13). Back
that which has a grip on this monstrously large industry. With
check and a certain sustenance after any a long distance
ache and vision impairment as side-effects of any constant
future road toll increases, highway congestion, damage from
journey. When truck drivers manoeuvre their severe and arduous
long distance driver additionally has an endless clutch over
by heavy trucks on highways and a large fatality rate caused
container carrying vessels, their bodies submit to the unnatural
the lifestyle of such an occupation.
The HIV and AIDS pandemic have had an extravagant claim over such people. The transient nature and mobility of truck drivers leave them spending little time at home with their families. In turn they become susceptible to having a number of sexual partners and polygamy. The nature of truck driving suggests the reasons for using the services of prostitutes in the towns through which they travel and the destination points at which they reach.
11 114 14
RESEARCH CASE STUDY
R E S E A R C H
S T U D I E S
Between August and October of 1999, research was carried
needs maintenance and refuelling. Health awareness and
out from the HIV Prevention and Vaccine Research Division,
These poignant statistics are severe in that truck drivers
the social stigmas attached to HIV brings with it its currents
Medical Research Council, based in Durban. Truck drivers
travel into neighbouring countries, the spread of infection rife
of difﬁculties in attending to the problem. Truck drivers, often
who had stopped at truck stops along the route between
throughout our continent, as our roads carry passengers, it
from impoverished or uneducated backgrounds, perhaps
Durban and Johannesburg were asked to participate in
carries virus and infection too.
ﬁnd difﬁculty in translating the AIDS awareness message into
a study regarding STIs and HIV. Out of the 320 men who
Kazerne together with City Deep, a freight metropolis in
consented to tests 56% were HIV positive. 66% reported
itself, as a transportation exchange sees an average of 650
having had sexually transmitted infections within the
vehicles per day. 650 truck drivers passing through this
previous 6 months while 34% said that they stopped for sex
area takes its affect in various forms. (City of Johannesburg
and sexual activities during journeys between Durban and
Transportation Department, 2009: 21) These truck drivers
Johannesburg. (Ramjee, 2002)
are in need of health care and health awareness as a truck
that of personal risk. Perhaps denial constructs a large sum of the manner in which they associate health and their daily lifestyles. Health orientated trucking facilities will not draw in drivers, owing to the scheduled tasks they have to fulﬁl each day. An opportunity arises, however, where they have to refuel their bodies with sustenance.
DESIGN T e c h n o l o g y a n d P r o c e s s
D E V E L O P M E N T
P R O C E S S
The periphery of City Deep sees developed housing standing vacant and run down or victim to poverty and overcrowding. The link into the vibrant CBD is important for these spaces to become viable, increasing the property value and returning density into sites adjacent to the city. By adding new programmes into Kazerne, truck drivers can maintain their modules of transport without having to add additional milage to their long routes. The city boasts many panel beaters and workshops however, the size of container trucks disallows an easy entry into tight city sites.
S A T E L L I T E
P R O G R A M M E
The diagram on the left indicates smaller versions of contextual programmes surrounding Kazerne. ‘Satellite’ programmes injected onto undeveloped land - Workshop Facilities ‘borrowed’ from the city and produce and meat kitchens ‘borrowed’ from the Fresh Produce Market.
PUBLIC SERVICE - STAFF TRUCK ROUTE - SEMI PRIVATE PRIVATE
The site as a buffer between private and public lies
operation with north facing views towards a landscapes
sandwiched between secure Transnet yards and public
ridge beyond the public route. Medical and canteen facilities
roads. The surrounding communities of a somewhat
are serviced on their own while a common “waiting area”
impoverished setting, are encouraged to enter into the
joins the three functions. While drivers wait for their trucks to
trucking facility for greater use of the medical, food and
be serviced, they can eat, have a shower or seek medical
health services, but it remains a truck driver orientated
assistance after a long journey. Delivery, waste removal and
facility. The gradients occur north to south, as does the
collection also bind these three functions. This shaped the
hierarchy of each programme A to C. The trucking route
way in which the structures lie within the site. The common
unfolds east -west but is bound by structures on three sides,
service yard for medical and canteen is south facing at the
allowing a central activation point, around which the site
most private end of the gradient.
revolves. The central workshop zone is the ‘heart’ of such
North facing orientation towards landscaped ridge
Central workshop space activated by social spaces adjacently.
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PROGRAMMATIC RELATIONSHIP Design informants into the relationship between programmes
Gradients across the site are that of public to private. Three
The aim of the built intervention is to merge service the
was driven by the experiential journey which a truck and its
thresholds exist along this gradient. From the north public
functions of truck drivers in order to speed up system and
driver would partake. Programme is broken up into three
road to the southern private truck and service route, this
process time, thus improving efďŹ ciencies of freight movement
main sectors which merge at certain points. A. Workshop _
gradient reveals public to private/secure. This northern road
in this speciďŹ c depot. Grouped functions relate programme
Truck. B. Food _ Driver. C. Health and hygiene _ Driver.
is not secure while the trucking route is for private corporate
space from serviced to served space. 1._ Areas designated
for truck drivers. 2. _ Intermediate spaces (semi-public). 3._ Service spaces (delivery and recycling, done by staff.)
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DETAILED INTERVENTION S P E C I F I C
F L E X I B I L I T Y
The technological aspects of the proposed structure set out
The technology of this building falls into these categories.
to achieve speciﬁc requirements. Such requirements are essentially the endeavors of the building itself. The ‘google’ perspective, from which City Deep is viewed allows its redesign to occur at an urban scale, its mass overwhelming
1. Adaptive reuse and recycling of the ‘dead’ container. 2. The bridging of human to machine through scale and mechanism.
and enveloping. It becomes necessary in such a project that the proposed design occurs even at a small scale, that of detailed proportion. Likewise, vast rows of containers
3. Merging of an organic and poisoned landscape and system geometries.
sprawling southwards rely on the tiny lock systems, which hold them in place. Similarly, large trucks rely on intricate pieces
4. Environmentally responsive.
of engine without which they could not muster expansive transnational container movement. It is imperative that in
5. Growth expansion.
such detailed design, the conceptual aims are achieved and represented so as not to get lost in a sea of process and system, void of ergonomic intricacies. The functionality of this building still requires such detail to operate.
ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIVE W A T E R
C O L L E C T I O N
The vast steel spans which enable trucks to move through this structure support a great roof area of corrugated iron. This opportunity for storm water collection is made valid by tanks, positioned at the west end of the structure. In order for the ďŹ‚exibility of this facility to allow a future growth, water tanks are positioned on one end only. The other, left open for extension as freight economies foresee. Large scale water tanks are sunk into the ground at the west
Opposite drawings of water tanks and roof pitch so to collect rainwater into sunken tanks. These tanks are on the western facade for maximum water heating.
end of the maintenance and diesel refueling areas. These tanks provide the kitchen, laundry, showers and clinic with the water during the rainy season.
ADAPTIVE REUSE I C O N
G L O B A L I S A T I O N
The existence of City Deep revolves around shipping
of impoverished communities, construction sites and
sustainability. In City Deep, where transient communities
containers. Twelve and six meter containers ďŹ‚uster and
temporary storage. The displeasures of working or living
are the backbone to economic freight turnover, functionality
trudge through and over this region by truck and rail. These
in such a module is ascribed to its lack of insulation, a
and growth are aspects which architects and urban planners
universal units are constructed as microcosms to any
rusting aesthetic, mere slithers of sunlight and volumetrical
need to write into their design scripts. The container proves
building structure. This is because they are composed as a
discomfort. Any structure composed of shipping containers
valuable in that this programmed proposal for City Deep can
puzzle, of basic shelter apparatus. Floor, walls, roof, doors.
demonstrates the ideal of the temporary. Despite these
be described as a â€˜satelliteâ€™ rendition of its pure form. The
This allows a containerâ€™s ďŹ‚exibility as well as revealing its
notions, container architecture has surged in European and
container thus housing a smaller and repeated version of
global settings, as housing projects, gallery exhibitions,
what lies on the outskirts of the Kazerne depot.
downfall. These monocoque structures exude the stigma
art installations and disaster aid. In our current global 1
Monocoque, meaning a body or form where the skin or facade of such structure is integral in supporting itself.
circumstance, our notion for aesthetic has shifted in favour of that which is functional for economic and environmental
Drawing of exploded 12 meter container and 6 meter container indicating its monocoque form.
(1)_ 12m container
S P A Z A
(2) _ Deformation
(3) _ Steel frame
S H O P
One of the reasons in which containers are unpleasant
modules were to back against one another. These 12 meter
to reside is because in order to maintain their structural
containers are relatively long and thin for use in food stalls
integrity, a very small surface area of their steel shell is
and vending. A 6 meter container proves to have more
allowed to be punctured. This lets minimal sunlight and
ergonomically appropriate dimensions.
ventilation into each module. The adaptation of containers is not practiced often enough in South Africa. With small
Adaptations to the “Spaza” module include the merging of
additions to a single unit, a pleasant low cost space can
two 6 meter containers. A cutting out of both walls which
be acquired, while still using an ‘environmentally’ recycled
butt up against each other. This is to be reinforced with
element which may have reached the end of its usable life
steel posts. Ceiling and wall insulation. A counter, sink and
span. The addition of a steel frame around two cut outs
electrical points into the rear end, as well as a security
as shown in the drawing allows a circulation path if these
closing mechanism for the front section ensuring its security.
Drawing of 12 meter container which has lost its structural monocoque skin (2) . Reinforced with steel posts (3) Following Page: Photograph of women selling cigarettes and sweets alongside a queue of trucks entering Kazerne depot. By author 26/10/2011.
rrect additions, we can design transient structures, using
(1)_ Male Toilet Facility within two 6 m containers.
(2)_ Female Toilet Facility within two 6 m containers.
(2)_ 6m container as shower facility F U T U R E S
F L U X
Ablution facilities are modular in themselves. The number of
our worldly population has no funding to move their goods in
not the reason for researching such context, its people, its
toilet and shower facilities needed depends on the number
bulk, if there is money however, container logistics ďŹ‚ourish.
community, its colour and shape and history. From here, with
of truck drivers using the Kazerne depot. This is in turn
The number of toilets needed in this truck facility will be
the correct additions, we can design transient structures,
dependent on container freight movement in City Deep,
dependent on our economic atmosphere. However naively
using materials already native to City Deep, the container,
additionally dependent on the South African economy.
or shallowly spoken, structures for transience must occur on
and those which are foreign, such small supplementaries
From where we stand currently, our ďŹ‚eeting economiesâ€™ only
this site, in such a ďŹ‚exible nature. Its â€˜giveâ€™ must be bred into
such as insulation and lighting, that which makes a building,
constant, is that it is constantly in ďŹ‚ux. It will continue to be in
its architecture. A basic entity, such as a toilet must rendered
a livable space.
ďŹ‚ux for a foreseeable future. We can predict this foreseeable
with ease. Their movement, their addition, their change, their
future to a certain point, yet onwards from this point this
maintenance, their conception, all must be prospective.
future is dark. The economy which we can predict is thus
The mere logistics of toilet and washing facilities ďŹ tting
that which controls out society moving its goods inside the
into the dimensions of a container is realistically probable
module of the shipping container. If the economy turns bad,
yet its aesthetic and stigma remains questionable. Is this
2 x 6 meter containers having been retrofitted with steel posts to allow cut outs at junction, ceilings, insulation, WCs, basins , showers, wastepipes, internal drywalls
Single 6 meter containers after being retrofitted as clinic examination rooms, blood testing capsules and medical storage facilities. All medical storage modules are air-conditioned.
131 1 13 31
G R O W T H
E X P A N S I O N
The unforeseeable future of economies in our current state
proposed structure can likewise grow horizontally according
gives reason to design with a prominent notion of growth.
to the site’s contours. The growth of this facility at a non-
Likewise such buildings may become redundant with
urban scale, occurs along the east west route of the truck.
the onset of new technologies or cheaper methods. The
Access, of great importance, as well as proportion of the
undeveloped land north of Kazerne, is allocated space for
trucks themselves have informed the layout of design so that
Transnet’s expansion. As indicated by the above drawings,
turning capacity is maintained.
this facility for truck drivers includes and is designed around this future proposal. As well as growth on an urban scale, this
1. _ Indicates the current railway lines in relation to the raods of Kazerne and City Deep. 2. _ Indicates Transnet’s future expansion proposal with the Truck Facility adjacent.
1. _ Indicates the footprint of the proposed design of the Truck Facility 2. _ Indicates the future expansion of the Truck Facility.
136 136 13
E A R T H
C O N T A I N E R
Shipping containers are composed of weathering steel, also know by its trademark name, Cor-Ten. After being exposed to
Opposite drawing of section through landscape indicating submerged containers and the terrain as a dumping ground for poisonous by products of mining.
exterior environmental conditions, containers develop a layer of rust which coats the containers while still maintaining their
mounds victim to soil erosion, its history, evidence of slimes
structural integrity. After approximately 20 years, containers
dams. Devoid in City Council data is the fact that this land,
lose the capacity to hold the weight of their contents,
owned by Transnet, is mine dump or slimes dam. Visual
owing to structural default and lifespan usage.
eventually rust, their thinnest components disintegrating ﬁrst.
assumption is that it has been dumping ground in some form or another. A lack of trees and grass indicates lack of soil minerals and nutrients, stormwater runoff from the
The site adjacent to the major trucking route into the Kazerne
highway a possible cause. This almost apocalyptic site
depot, that which sees a constant queue of trucks moving
becomes inappropriate for human consumption. Owing to its immediate location and relationship to the city as well as its
into and waiting for containers, is also south of the craze of the M2 highway. The noise generated by vehicles and trucks hurrying east west on the M2 highway echoes over Kazerne’s undeveloped land. This area is devoid of vegetation. Its
Information derived from interview by author with Ronel, co-operations manager of King’s Rest Container Park, 43 Heidelberg Rd, Village Main, Johannesburg. 2011/05/05. 1
programmed purpose, people use this site amply. Various methods to cleanse this soil of its poisons are underway in response to the living conditions of a post-industrial city. Mining in Johannesburg and Gauteng as well as the reprocessing of mine dumps still occurs, thus Johannesburg continues to reveals its schizophrenic faces. Its post-industry aftermath juxtaposing a continuation of industrial and mining paradigm.
Any intentions of built structure south of the M2 must confront
of the terrain’s contours, trees would slowly begin to grow,
sound pollution which bleeds across this site. Vegetation
recuperating existing soil deﬁciencies while eventually
is an imperative element in absorbing sound runoff from
providing a noise buffer between the highway and the truck
the highway while addressing the dire state of the soil,
riddled by industrial waste. The addition of trees and roots into this soil will prevent further soil erosion. Vegetation
Containers, when exposed to constant moisture, begin to
will however die owing to the lack of nutrients in the soil
rust and disintegrate. The already rusted and submerged
which this terrain possesses. If redundant containers which
containers will become part of the terrain whilst at this stage,
lie unused in “container graveyards” acted as planters
a vegetation roots system would have prevented erosion and
for indigenous shrubs and grasses, a forgotten life form
allowed further growth. This sound buffer between highway
would be incorporated back into the site. The submerging
and facility creates a value in this terrain as a city “pore”,
of rusted containers into the earth in rows matching those
breathing space and access link into the city from the Produce Market and the George Goch hostel complex.
Above drawings of process of vegetation in submerged containers to provide sound buffer. Plan diagram to show position of trees along highway edge and public route. Photograph of container model submerged into plater-of-paris landscape.
M A I N T E N A N C E
O I L P E T R O L
R E C Y C L E
P U B L I C
R O A D
S E C T I O N A-A SCALE 1:500
G R O U N D F L O O R P LA N SCALE 1:500
F I R ST F L O O R P LA N SCALE 1:500
R O O F
P L A N
A SUPPORTING FACILITY This structure has been designed to serve as a consistent resource, to give to a somewhat exploited and neglected group of transient people. The building centred primarily around the nature of a road, the massive turning circles of trucks and safe parking zones. Its accessibility and safe daytime character to provide assistance to truck drivers and additionally to City Deep service staff with access to hot meals, showers, laundry facilities, ﬁnancial and medical assistance, as well as emotional support. It primary focus is truck maintenance. The facilities’ importance reveals itself in that it acts as a catalytic point in this “terrain vague’, in moving towards positive future transformations of the natural landscape
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Websites http://www.amarrages.com/textes_terrain.html visited 02/05/2011 11:52am http://www.studiowta.com/images/portfolio/studioWTA_RebuildCenter.pdf visited 18/10/2011 11:06pm http://www.northstar-alliance.org/ visited 23/08/2011 6:30pm
Photograph by author, Maersk shipping container on moving flatbed truck, looking into Cape Townâ€™s industrial container port from Duncan Road. Photograph taken 23/03/2011.
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Published on Oct 27, 2013