Cities attract large numbers of people because of economic opportunity. Inner
city housing demands increases and the lack of affordable housing leaves
the urban poor to live in slums on the periphery of the city, contributing to
urban sprawl. Settlement patterns often indicate that the poorest inhabitants
have to travel the longest distances. According to the Tshwane Metropolitan
Spatial Development Framework (2012), the aim is to achieve compaction
through infill development that promotes high residential density and mixed
Marabastad, situated to the North West of Pretoria, is a vibrant place with
a diversity of people joining the daily commute to and from the city and
surrounding areas. A once close-knit community was crushed due to forced
removals in 1940-1970 and Marabastad lost its residential component. Despite
this devastating past, the daily flux of feet in and out of Marabastad has
resulted in a vibrant place that is dominated by retail and transport networks.
However a number of damaged structures, vacant lots and abandoned areas
throughout Marabastad threatens the safety of the precinct and has left the
urban fabric of Marabastad in a state of decay.
The project investigates the potential the strong heritage character of
Marabastad holds for an architectural intervention that demonstrates a truly
integrated and sensitive urban infill¬. This dissertation proposes a mixed-use
residential development to increase density and re-establish a permanent
community in Marabastad. The project will consist of a variety of housing
models to accommodate the diversity of people identified in Marabastad. The
existing activities on site are integrated in the design proposal to maintain
the vibrancy and sense of place. The theory of Open Builidng is explored
in search for an alternative approach to the current state provided housing
The dissertation s aim is to revitalise the dilapidated area of Marabastad.
The architectural language explores the expression of the new that exists
harmoniously within the heritage context of Marabastad.
Mini Dissertation (MArch(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2015.