Accommodating change: the historical centre of inner-city Johannesburg

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dc.contributor.author Keeling, Candice
dc.date.accessioned 2009-06-18T12:07:07Z
dc.date.available 2009-06-18T12:07:07Z
dc.date.issued 2009-06-18T12:07:07Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/7028
dc.description.abstract In this thesis, the significance and best use of a site within the historical centre of inner-city Johannesburg is explored. The site covers a city block and lies across the road from the Square on which the City Hall (housing the offices of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature) is situated. The ‘Barbican’ - an important heritage building - occupies part of the site, the remainder being vacant. Both the site and the Square opposite it are situated within a twenty-four city block precinct which has undergone considerable change since it first came into being one hundred and twenty-two years ago. These changes (particularly those within the Square) have become relevant in the history and character of the precinct, and have been examined in order to place the site into its context and to gain an insight into how and why it may be developed. Changes that have had a substantial effect on the precinct allow its history to be roughly divided into four ‘Eras’. The first of these being ‘Market Square’ (1886 – 1935) which relates to the first developments within the precinct - the changes that made ‘a camp’ into a city. The second era is that of ‘Library Gardens’ (1935 – 1991) which details the changes that occurred after a library was built on the Western side of the Square and the effect of this on it. The third era is the ‘Civic Spine’ (1991 – 1994) which illustrates an attempt by the city to reactivate the precinct and the structures that were built to facilitate this. The fourth era is the ‘Provincial Government Precinct’ (1994 – to date), which deals with the conversion of the City Hall into the offices of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and the changes that are currently occurring in the precinct. The four eras were used to provide an historical context for three layers of urban interconnection that may be found within the precinct and include: history, urban space and public place. History explores the ‘past’ of the site; Urban Space concerns the types of space that were created, being based on the urban theory of the time; and Public Place involves occupation of the spaces by the public which resulting in these spaces becoming places and therefore destinations. The results of this investigation were used in the creation of one structure and the conversion of another that will best utilise the site and benefit the precinct in which it is located. The programme that is now outlined comprises a convention centre, gallery and a hotel. The convention centre may be used for both local and provincial government functions, as well as those required by the private sector, given that few (and inadequate) facilities exist at this time within the inner-city. The gallery will depict the numerous changes that are described; the hotel to accommodate conference delegates and others. After the programme has been provided, the results of an exploration of convention centres and their chief components is related. In addition, the historical building – ‘The Barbican’ is situated (in one corner of the site) and raises the relevance of historical conservation. Elements in the construction of a new convention centre on the site and ways in which the Barbican may be used to connect the old with the new are taken into consideration. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject City planning en
dc.subject Urban renewal en
dc.subject Johannesburg en
dc.title Accommodating change: the historical centre of inner-city Johannesburg en
dc.type Thesis en


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