The birth of this dissertation is founded in a personal fascination with the industrial archetype, which has developed over time from crude mechanistic structures to refined, sophisticated edifices of technological and structural ingenuity. However by excluding human experience and disregarding the making of public space, industry has isolated itself, creating limited and restricted spatial and experiential environments. Additionally, the extraction of natural resources has led to a destructive relationship between industry and the landscape creating a scarred environment. As natural resources are exhausted, widespread deindustrialization is becoming a reality where mines fail to meet demands of profitability. Man is now tasked with reclaiming his sense of place within the post-industrial scarred environment as the legacy of a mechanized industrial age.
The genesis of Cullinan is woven into the very fabric of the diamond mine as the catalytic core which extracts resources to sustain its surroundings economically. Its inevitable decommissioning and the current rehabilitation strategy proposed by mine authorities, will create an inaccessible industrial ruin devoid of meaning and quality that allow for man’s sense of belonging. This threatens the tangible and intangible industrial heritage value of the mine resulting in a loss of authenticity and connection with place.
Through an exploration of the scenario following the decommissioning of the mine, this dissertation investigates the role that architectural design can play as an alternative solution to increase resilience while regenerating the scarred landscape. By utilizing the principles of regenerative design, unexpected potential was discovered and harnessed to inform the design of a facility for the extraction of essential oils and the making of cider as interconnected industries providing social and economic incentive for rehabilitation.
The concept of constructive extraction, reinsertion and reconciliation informed a new approach to the design and technification of industry. Through this approach an architecture of the senses and experience is created by a promenade in the scarred environment. A new mutualistic relationship is thus established between the landscape and production through this experiential interface The architecture becomes a multi-functional regenerative device which redefines industry, remediates the scarred environment by giving resources and nutrients back to the landscape and creates new social and economic opportunities in the industrial heritage precinct.
Dissertation (MArch(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2015.