This dissertation documents an investigation of an architecture of the Feminine. It is not possible to give definite examples of the feminine and masculine in architecture. These are abstract concepts and it must be understood that notions of the feminine are highly subjective, influenced by aspects such as culture, gender, background, context and religion. Through an analysis of the theoretical interpretations of the Feminine within architecture, the ways that women occupy and decode space is examined while seeking interpretations that bypass the many literal interpretations that are often associated with the Feminine and architecture. These readings will be used to inform decision making during design.
During Apartheid, the Women s Movement had a unified goal of fighting the oppressive powers of the current government. But since the fall of the Apartheid government, this movement has been fractured and has not been able to mobilise to address needs as a unified group. The proposal intends to foster an atmosphere of dialogue and identity for South African women by creating space that that gives women the possibility to negotiate spatial relationships on their terms. There are a vast number of ways that notions of the feminine can be interpreted with regards to architecture. The design approach thus interprets this information and allows the feminine to be expressed through the creation of space that gives women the possibility of negotiating spatial relationships on their terms, in the in-between or interstitial spaces in the building.
Through conceptual investigations, the Void is identified as a space that creates a dimension for rewriting existing structures of social interaction. This inherent characteristic can only be explored if the Void is understood as a space that lacks strict definition in which it creates the dimension of possibility, providing women with the space to define the nature of their spatial relationships on their own terms. To acknowledge the multiplicities that are evident within (social) space is to acknowledge the other that has been ignored. Through occupying the Void that is represented by the site, and by placing focus on the interstitial and in-between spaces in the building, a place is created for negotiation of spaces as well as a place for identity and discussion within the building through the opportunity to rewrite the relationships between occupants.
Mini Dissertation (MArch(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2015.