This dissertation focuses on the redevelopment of the No. II Shaft Cullinan Compound, which lies in ruins. The compound is located at the Cullinan Diamond Mine, 40km east of the Pretoria CBD. The No. II Shaft Compound was used to house the enormous migrant workforce during the middle to late 1900s. It was closed down in 1973. In its derelict state it does not do justice to the memory of the workers who had to endure the hardships of the harsh working and living regime of the mine. This dissertation advocates that meaning and significance are achieved in landscape design through the use of landscape narrative. The author argues that meaning neither resides in the landscape itself nor with the creator but with the mediation between user, the landscape and its elements. The design intervention celebrates the unique historical significance of the compound system in general and specifically that of the No. II Shaft Cullinan Compound.
The landscape design aims at integrating and maintaining all layers of history – that which was, what is and what potentially can be. The design intervention celebrates the unique industrial heritage of the Cullinan No. II Shaft Compound through a process of heritage preservation, representation and integration with its surrounding context.
This dissertation aims at establishing a method of communicating the story of the workers who lived, worked and died in the compound. The project designs a landscape
narrative experience where the story of the workers of the compound is communicated to users when they visit the site. Communication of narrative is achieved through the use of
landscape design mechanisms, like semiotics, metaphor and landscape rhetoric. The design approaches the site as one of cultural and historical significance. The intervention acts as a mediator between the workers and history of the site, and the new contemporary layer of production and research. The final stage of the design investigates the technical resolution of the design proposal.
Dissertation (ML(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2015.