As with the majority of Johannesburg areas, the Newtown Electric Power Station Heritage Precinct does not fully realise its potential for spatial relations facilitating creative means of living. Creativity is a powerful tool to engage present and future possibilities. A Centre to stimulate creativity will benefit the direct area users, as well as contribute to the prominence of the historical and cultural richness of Newtown.
The vacant site adjacent to the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre provides an apt location for the Creativity Centre as the intervening programme will activate, strengthen and define the presently underutilised street corner edges. The proposed architectural spaces aim to direct the site’s current movement routes created by pedestrian commuters, in order for creativity to become more ingrained in daily life.
The proposed architectural elements aim to facilitate creative activities - both curatorial and organically inspired through community appropriation of specifically designed open, or adaptable, spaces. The Centre aims to become a creative community gathering hub: becoming integral to the existing creative individuals currently pursuing artistic practices in Newtown.
Gesamtkunstwerk theoretically guides the project: in terms of the architectural intervention being comprised of singular elements all contributing to a greater whole. Gesamtkunstwerk also programmatically unites the entire Electric Power Station city block, through promoting the unification of art forms with life, as a holistic, creative entity.
The Centre acts as a crucial beacon highlighting the importance of creativity in the contemporary South African situation where it is undervalued and underutilised. It also articulates that as a directorial element of societal authorisations and processes, architectural design should articulate the value of creativity through facilitating and inspiring creative modes of living.
Dissertation MArch(Prof)--University of Pretoria, 2014.