“We shape our buildings: thereafter they shape us.” (Churchill 1940, cited in McLuhan 1995, p.62) In the same manner; we have shaped our cities, and accordingly they have shaped our lifestyles into bustling hubs of activity. Networks of roads and trails direct movement with dense high rise structures defining space. The Interior Architect enters this complex scene to become part of a duet rather than a solo, working within existing structural skins and initiating harmony between the desired new and the existing. The aim is to restore a “sense of place” within the existing city fabric through processes of restoration, renovation, preservation and adaptive re-use, extending a building’s lifetime, while preserving its history and character. The objective of this thesis is to propose a way of improving the experience of the public domain within the inner city of Pretoria. A series of communal spaces is proposed that will provide essential public amenities within the city. These interventions guide experience via the senses. The partially abandoned Transvaal Provincial Administration (TPA) building is selected as study area. The intervention is proposed to enable the building to realise a new era in its lifetime by acknowledging it and celebrating it as a modern icon within Pretoria’s Central Business District (CBD) while, at the same time, helping it to shed itself of its negative political association. This is proposed through the adaptive re-use of the structure to accommodate various functions including a conference facility and a new home for Pretoria’s Art Association.
Dissertation (MInt(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2010.