‘The non-dialectical mean between which extremes are suspended constitutes something like an interface, which is the condition of the possibility and impossibility of seemingly seamless systems and structures. When radically conceived, this interface extends beyond every margin of difference to ‘contaminate’ opposites that once seemed fixed.’ (Taylor 1997: 269) The site is positioned at the juxtaposition of: poor opposite rich, inviting opposite closed, dense urban fabric opposite sprawling suburban, exclusive opposite inclusive. Therefore the question arise: when dealing with an island placed amidst these contradictions, how do you include and acknowledge all? By providing for the one inevitably leads to the exclusion of the other, yet again reinforcing the legacy apartheid left South African urban environments. Therefore, the search for the INbetween informs the merging of these realms by means of a public park and recreational youth facility at the juxtaposition of these contrasting realms. The merge creates a dynamic tension between public / private, rich / poor, active / contemplative, movement / rest and inside / outside which informs the design philosophy. The architecture investigates the fading of boundaries. The design problem is a youth facility with recreational, educational and counselling functions, for youth living within the inner city area of Hillbrow, Houghton, Berea and Parktown. It is part of the City of Johannesburg’s Child Friendly City Initiative (CFCI) and will be managed by Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) operating in the area. Therefore, the centre will be a facility of which youth can take ownership of. A platform for ‘accidental’ interaction between the people from these different communities. The centre needs to provide opportunities and facilities that would entice, intrigue and motivate in order to resist the attraction of street life and drugs, through the provision of recreational activities, entertainment, educational facilities in the form of skills and entrepreneurial training, counseling and medical assistance.
Dissertation (MArch(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2007.