Urban relics, memories of bygone eras, sit desolate and disregarded on the Northern and Southern fringes of the City of Tshwane’s inner-city, also known as Pretoria. Flaking facades, uninviting margins and deflected gazes have resulted in forgotten city narratives, narratives that are immortalised in these monuments.
These compositions of culture, and remnants of the past, have fallen prey to the swift progress of the city and have been left forgotten as they retreat into the shadows of their former grandeur. Dwarfed by the bustle of the city and it’s towering urban fabric, a generation unknowing pass these urban gems daily, unaware of their past splendour. Existing now only as urban scars, these buildings become spectators to the continued advancing and changing cityscape, they become invisible remnants of the city’s cultural and historical landscape.
The dissertation aims to generate a landscape design proposal for the Old Staatsmuseum building as an attempt to reactivate one such urban relic, to return it to some of its historic grandeur, and imagining new ways for old buildings to inject meaning into the cityscape. Drawing inspiration from creative industries, such as art, media and functional creations, the project investigates landscape architecture’s potential to; regenerate and remodel buildings into creative sites, prevent their further decay, celebrate their inherent adaptive history and make them accessible to the new generation of city dwellers and visitors. Furthermore, such an attempt also seeks to connect and enhance the otherwise fragmented urban nature within the City of Tshwane, by connecting the Old Staatsmusem, to its context of the National Zoological Gardens, and further afield to the grassland landscapes of Gauteng.
Landscape architecture is therefore used to present an allusion of the “continuation of cultural phenomena through built infrastructure” (Wong 2017:30) and as a catalyst for urban regeneration in the Pretoria inner-city.
Mini Dissertation (ML (Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2020.