This dissertation developed as a response to an existing condition of separation, fragmentation and a history of a tabula rasa approach to Marabastad’s urban heritage. The exploration of latent and layered potentials as an opportunity for hybrid interaction becomes integral in the architectural response proposed in this dissertation.
The first informant for hybrid interaction begins with the thriving fruit and vegetable trade in Marabastad and the latent potential of fruit and vegetable waste as natural capital. As a direct result of this trade, there is a significant amount of subsequent waste of fruit and vegetables. This provides an opportunity to repurpose fruit and vegetable waste as a resource for clean energy production. Not only does this address the topical and severe issue of waste in the direct context, but it addresses a much larger global issue of food waste, food security and resource shortage.
Specific to the context, the reintegration of natural and cultural landscapes that have been lost as a result of shifting states over time is fundamental to recognising and rehabilitating the environment as it is today. Processes of disintegration, relocation, and general decay have become synonymous with the area, combined with a socio-cultural system that is as present as ever. Thus, the context seeks a mid-ground to house a complex adaptive system that is resilient and sustainable. The second informant is made possible only through the dysfunctionality of the urban fabric in its current state, and the opportunities that this presents.
The third informant is embedded in the palimpsest of the industrial landscape as an opportunity for productive processes to form a closed loop system. The industrial heritage of the site remains ingrained in its appearance, and its current function exemplifies fragmentation and isolation. This informant unlocks the possibility of introducing a functioning industrial landscape within the spectrum of a complex socio-cultural system.
This dissertation is as a result of these primary informants integrated and cross-pollinated to inform a model of hybrid interaction of latent potentials. The result is an architecture that focuses on human and social capital as a catalyst for an integrated and interactive natural and productive landscape. Hybridity extends beyond the physical rendition on site, and speaks of a new typology of an architectural infrastructure of connection, flexibility and programmatic evolution grounded in critical dependency.
Mini Dissertation (MArch (Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2019.