Saturday, November 14, 2009

This recently won the World Building of the Year Award, I think the section is especially relevent to Greg.

Mapungubwe Interpretation Center

Culture  South Africa  Peter Rich Architects, Johannesburg, South Africa  2009  World Architecture Festival 2009 - World Building of the Year


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  2. Peter Rich talked about this project as being an opportunity to create jobs. Architecture as socially useful public works. At a time when capital is on strike and labour unemployed, his proposition for architecture to bridge the two, even within the really narrow ideological (tactically economic) paradigm that it operates within the constraints of, is really exciting. I think that is something that should resonate with all of us in the middle school.

    The preference we have as aspiring Architects (capital A) for not decorating or elaborating, in my opinion hasn't got an economic analogy.

    There is a video of him talking about the building here:

    Economic rationale translated to architectural form. Some of the internal spaces look great, but I still think it looks a bit twee.


  3. Ya, that interview was interesting all right. I think an awful lot of architects talk about his idea(l)s, the difference is he's actually doing it.

    I don't think there's anything inherently twee about the building, but maybe in the modern context where sentimentality in architecture is eschewed, it may come across as twee.

  4. I don't see anything sentimental about it, and think that the brick vault is potentially really interesting, but it all just looks a bit busy. A really good project though. The drawings are really beautiful, and remind me of the hand drawings of Barbara in our unit. C

  5. I suppose the attachment to vernacular as an end in itself is what I find objectionable. The 4th image from the bottom.

    Hopefully the WAF will become a counter point to starcitecture.


  6. thanks for posting this denis,
    i think the return to vernacular here is because of budget/social/climatic objectives along with the aesthetic considerations. sa has a hard climate to build cheaply in and there are very few skills on site also. building in this manner enables you to have a building that works in the climate for very little money, and then to use those skills learnt to build the way if you're interested in this method of construction, check out and go have a look at the dome on site in richview - almost finished!

  7. Vernacular conditions cannot be recreated. That's why I think that vernacular buildings cannot be a response to present social / economic conditions. History can provide lessons rather than answers*. C

    *All the above might be wrong±.

    ±Undergrad cop-out.

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