An In-Vocational Training Centre is proposed to economically and socially integrate the disabled into, what is generally perceived, normal society. The Centre focuses on training people for specific skills required in the open labour market and specialises in food production and packaging for a specific target market. Locating the Centre on the inner city’s edge, in close proximity to the zoo and fresh produce market, not only creates a bridge between the dense built environment and the less dense edge, but places it close to its input supply (fresh produce market) and an off-take consumer (herbivores in the zoo). With the incorporation of green houses as a productive element for urban agriculture, the building respects the natural environment it is placed in and optimises the natural and economic resources it requires to sustain itself. It attempts to reduce its ecological footprint to the minimum. Research indicated the specific infrastructure need for the disabled and therefore the Centre is located close to transportation and city amenities. Furthermore, the planning respects the city’s history, its plans for the future and society’s needs. The building is designed to be a quiet building which unobtrusively, yet noticeably marks the inner city’s edge without denigrating its natural surround. It thereby functions as the subtle entry (bridge) for the hitherto ignored into the city and society.
Dissertation (MArch(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2008.