Mamelodi still remains captive in the spatial legacy of Apartheid.
With long travel times and virtually no employment opportunities
in Mamelodi, the status quo is difficult for inhabitants
to deal with. Economic theory suggests that industrial
programmes employ the largest number of people, and are
the most effective ways to grow the economy. Additionally,
workers for industrial jobs rarely require intricate training or
education, creating the ideal platform for entry level jobs.
A theoretical investigation looked at the validity of functionalism
for an industrial programme, but found it lacking. Critics
charged functionalism with not considering all the functions
a building serves unintentionally, which led to an additional
layer of theory being added to the process. This was critical
regionalism, selected for being contextually sensitive and appropriate
whilst remaining grounded and practical about modernity.
Precedents looked at the spaces Industries in Mamelodi
used and the spaces international industries use, taking
lessons from that. A site was chosen and analysed, and all the
research was distilled into four drivers: Industry, Railway link,
Level Change, and Modularity. This is quickly developed into a
concept of creating an energy conduit, as a means to transfer
the vigourous energy of Mamelodi to the outside world.
And this finally led to a design. Located on a steep hillside, the
design negotiates some steep conditions and staggers a bunch
of separate buildings over the site. Breaking the monolith,
these buildings also create intimate public spaces in-between,
that become populated with the happenings of everyday life.
Four chimney towers serve as beacons, and create small thermally
comfortable spots in the public spaces. Shading devices
extend indoor programs into the public realm, trying to blur
the threshold between them.
The building is adaptable, allowing materials to be re-used on
a new location, and follows a strict grid and modular. This allows
for the easy expansion and changing of spaces, as businesses
should require. Further, pooling resources together allows
the industries far greater access to services, systems and
resources than they would be capable of acquiring on their
own. And lastly, the central location with the railway and road
links the industries not only with their employees but also to
potential markets, allowing for greater profit and more sustainable
This dissertation shows a method for bringing economic empowerment
to Mamelodi, using industrial programmes that
share resources. It is possible to do this in a contextually sensitive
way, without compromising on the quality of the spaces.
Mini Dissertation (MArch (Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2018.