Holm Jordaan Architects and Urban Designers
Location: Refilwe, Metsweding, Pretoria South Africa
Project Team: Margueritte Pienaar, Morne Pienaar, Walter Raubenheimer, Anja Bredell-Oliver
Interior Décor: Holm Jordaan Architects and Urban Designers
Project Year: 2012
Photographer: Walter Raubenheimer
Structural Engineers: Bigen Africa Services
Electrical Engineers: Bigen Africa Services
Landscape Architects: Insite Landscape Architects
Quantity Surveyor: Bigen Africa Services
Project Managers: Bigen Africa Services
Town and Regional Planners: Maxim Planning Solutions
Environmental and OHS: Nemai Consulting
Contractor: Excell Homes and Moeng Civils and Construction JV
From The Architects:
Refilwe nodal transformation forms part of an urban network of upgrades supported by the Neighbourhood Development Partnerships Grant, National Treasury, in the Metsweding area, City of Tshwane. This upgrade albeit a small and humble urban intervention, serves as an example of a local community taking great pride in the renewal of public space.
By simply formalizing open space through provision of a permeable edge condition, the area in front of various small shops was upgraded. An open-ended, covered area along the new periphery houses basic amenities of ablution, water, roof shelter and seating – while leaving a framework for a series of programmatic interventions, such as a car wash, waiting areas for taxi drop-off, hawkers accommodation and so on.
Along with patterns recalling local tradition, Maraba-raba and chess play boards are part of the horizontal field that binds the spatial diagram together. Robustness in design drove overall outcomes. As a result, apertures are screened off but no glass panes are included, and stainless steel and hidden fixtures were used for all sanitary ware.
The brick screens also helped to create a building interface with no “front and back” – usually a challenge given programmatic requirement of public ablutions in such central locations. Bright colour gives new identity to this small urban hub.
The local community was involved in the construction of the project and has taken great pride in this small, colourful intervention. During 2014 the area in front of the existing shops became a space for service-delivery protests. Not a single building or structure was damaged, attesting to the ownership taken by the local community.
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