Many unemployed construction workers, some with years of trade experience, often travel vast distances to the city and congregate daily at certain places in the city, hoping to earn a day’s wages and. Some have to sleep on the street and in parks, only to wait, hope and believe that the following day an employment opportunity will arise. The study adresses unemployment and the physical, metaphysical and socio-economic boundaries which exists around building supply stores. This dissertation aims at uplifting the unemployed who do not have formal qualifications and are willing to work with acquired trades on site. The prospective workers claim to be skilled in trades such as painting, brick laying, plumbing and plastering. The study investigates how architecture can diffuse the boundaries between the possible employees and the unskilled workers by advertising how skills are being taught and transferred to the workforce Using the Builders Warehouse franchise chain, three different training centre typologies are proposed in the parking areas of the stores based on size, number of unemployed gathering in the area and available parking bays. The programme focuses on providing proper training based on the training programme of the Atteridgeville Campus of the Tshwane Technical College where the workers can obtain a skill with an associated qualification as determined by CETA (Construction Education Training Authority). Training provided will also focus on new technologies and materials as well as energy efficient building materials. Ultimately the Training Centre should become a threshhold, to foster mutually beneficial relationships to be formed between the building supply store, clients and unskilled or unemployed workers gathering around the store. The investigation of the problem of unemployed construction workers initiated the development of a architectural typology, termed “trade architecture”.
Dissertation MArch(Prof)--University of Pretoria, 2013