This dissertation originated from an interest in museum architecture and the desire to improve museum experiences for the inhabitants of Pretoria. The city is in need of a museum that does not distinguish between different cultures and backgrounds, and that provides an experience that a regular city user can relate to. This dissertation aims to address this need with the creation of a museum that relies on a chance museum encounter in an everyday place. This museum encounter will enrich people’s daily city experiences and provide opportunity for self-reflection and contemplation. The dissertation proposes a new satellite museum for the existing Ditsong: National Museum of Cultural History as a method of exposing the public to this museum. This satellite museum will function as a branch of the larger museum. The aim of this satellite museum is to provide regular users of the city with an unexpected museum experience. This dissertation considers what a contemporary museum in the inner city of Pretoria should be in terms of function and architectural implementation. The document investigates contemporary trends in museum architecture and evaluates existing museums in Pretoria. It also includes an investigation into culture in South Africa and into the relation of the satellite museum to its context. The study concludes that a contemporary museum experience is one that facilitates continuous change, and provides a spatial experience that blurs the threshold between the new museum and existing public space.
Dissertation (MInt(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2010.