The dissertation considers architecture of the built environment and its effects on the existing social fabric within the larger urban context. This thesis argues that South African Universities stand at a critical and defining moment in time, that through careful assessment and implementation of tertiary education structure design and planning, we may challenge the previously accepted spatial, socio economic and political extents of life since it is the change that occurs within the built environment which most profoundly affects our daily lives. The platform used to explore this premise is a Hotel School, situated on the eastern boundary of the University of Pretoria’s Hatfield Campus. The fundamental relationship between the chosen site and the immediate surrounding will be defined, resulting in a formal translation in terms of an architectural intervention. As a means to recognise this challenge the intention will be to expand upon the architectural identity of the Campus and contribute toward the production of a South African sensibility through the language and interaction offered by architecture to the public. The issues underpinning the argument deal with the lack of interaction between the University and its neighbours. The objective of this discourse will be the ratification of the ideal that positively performing urban environments reflect the high degree of integration between various parts and elements of the city. “The essence of urbanity is that, with increasing agglomeration, individuals, groups and communities can benefit from a greater range of opportunities and facilities than can be generated by their operating in isolation.” (Dewar 1991:20) The final design proposes an interaction between the University as private entity and the public realm through the use of an experiential hospitality training facility. The design creates a place of relief which is reliant upon the event of programme acting as generator, effectively bridging the divide and ultimately unifying a portion of the Campus with its surroundings.
Dissertation (MArch(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2009.