Due to considerations for sustainable development and urban sprawl we have to address the growing concern of abandoned buildings and cities. Underutilised buildings and urban spaces are the development sites of the future. This dissertation investigates the problems of underutilised buildings and cities, and by doing so aims to contribute to a good urban environment, “the good city” according to Stern (2003: 21). As a further challenge, many of these underutilised buildings were designed with abrupt thresholds and inward orientation, instantly divorcing them from the public domain. Therefore not only is the re-use of an existing building explored, but is the extension of the public realm into the building also investigated. The project addresses this extension of the public realm through layering as a tool and a design generator. The layered tectonic is applied through spatial, componential, material and transitional layering. The building chosen for the dissertation is the old Pretoria Central Fire Station. The new proposed programme is a Centre for Architecture. Site information: Programme: Centre for Architecture: includes exhibition space, auditorium, conference facilities, offices, library, archives, bookshop and restaurant. Site description: Old Pretoria Central Fire Station, 1912 Client: Client body consisting of SACAP and voluntary associations within the architecture profession Users: Professionals and students in the Built Environment industry, tourists and the general public Site Location: Erven 913 + 914 Address: 449 Bosman Street, c/o Minnaar Street, Pretoria CBD, South Africa Between African Window and City Hall GPS coordinates: 25°45’12.99”S, 28°11’8.61”E
Dissertation (MArch(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2012.