This dissertation aims to address actual needs/issues identified within Pretoria.
The Berea Park precinct has become a proverbial rotten apple. The negative connotations linked to this site are tainting the image of the area. It is also having a negative effect on the safety and social grain of the neighbourhood.
The neglect and vandalism that Berea Park has suffered can in part be contributed to a lack of ownership accountability. To address this, an appropriate, relatable architectural intervention is required. The theory of “Belonging” is explored as an approach to inspire the appropriation of Berea Park. The theory is based on the premise that architecture is informed by the activities that occur within the spaces. This is partially because the activities associated with a space contribute to the identity we attach to this specific space.
Identity becomes particularly important when working with a site with such a rich heritage, a site that has featured extensively in the development of Pretoria’s sport and recreational scene. Both the tangible and intangible heritage of the site should play an imperative role in informing the new design.
The intention is to regenerate Berea Park by means of small scale interventions. This is done by inserting activity and ritual driven architecture into the existing fabric of Berea Park. The tangible and intangible heritage of Berea Park act as guiding grids that inform the arrangement of these interventions. Design is further informed by the fact that sport is still actively being practised at this damaged, dilapidated site. This clearly reflects the need for publicly accessible sports facilities within Pretoria.
Sensitive interaction between the new and the existing architecture is required. To achieve this a contrast between old and new is created to ensure that both are celebrated and clearly distinguishable. The current structural grid and planning are offset by a strict set of zones that run horizontally across the site. These zones become lightweight steel boxes that either fit into the existing, stereotomic building envelope or extend out towards the sport fields.
Ideally the architectural intervention will strengthen the relationship between architecture and users.
Dissertation MArch(Prof)--University of Pretoria, 2014