The urban environment resembles a non-static circuit that continuously records, processes and transmits information governed by human needs (Griffin & Kittler, 1996:720). This transfer of information may be compared to frequency bands mediating between man and his built environment: A high frequency of indefinite human activity and a low frequency, representational of definite built form.
By appropriating the philosophical principles of Jurgen Habermas to architecture, it is proposed that indefinite activity lends animation to definite form, which enables man to critique and eventually alter his context. Where definite form overpowers indefinite activity, a disproportional model occurs, where man is made silent and alienated from his context, his needs neglected and his space trapped in time.
The programmatic development of Pretoria as administrative capital over time manifests as introverted architectural assemblages and incomplete spatial narratives. The city s need for indefinite activity is made clear when an insurgent and informal urban program exploits the structure of definite built form - irrelevant of initial function. The latent potential of unprogrammed urban space as a by-product of fractured urban assembly offers un-tapped opertunity regarding the diversity of urban layering as an alternative way to read, challenge and interact with the city.
By opening marginal space for insurgent urban activity, the strategy aims at establishing a sub-network of programmed marginal space clusters within Pretoria s CBD to introduce inner city sprawl (an implosion of fabric and activity). By exploiting the lack of clearly defined usefulness and in the absence of claims to ownership, opportunity for marginal urban space to associate programmatically with uncatered-for-users and neglected activities, sets the tone for architectural intervention.
The intervention explores the methods of how architecture can strategically introduce marginal urban space into the city fabric by proclaiming and facilitating a relationship between marginal client and program. Through the exploitation of existing built form and the marginal space it produced, an architectural form is to be developed that may serve as a didactic catalyst towards an alternative and responsive urban experience.
The main driver for function is to provide internalised built entities with appropriate public interface so as to act as a base from which to launch public activity. A marginal urban plinth, next to the North Gauteng Advocates Association, will be utilised as a laboratory to test the validity of architecture as vessel to activate public insurgency, in a strategy towards inner-city renewal. Existing built form and program of buildings contributing towards the genesis of marginal space is approached as a host to be exploited by the proposed architecture. Internalised information and function of the host is to be extracted to generate spatial drivers for new and alternative spatial conditions.
Mini Dissertation (MArch(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2015.