Searching For Sunnyside :an investigation into Sunnyside's spatial conditions
Tsebe, Kgoale Motumiseng John
Sunnyside was a place made up of middle-class retirees. It slowly became a place for the middle-income workers of Pretoria. Steadily, the area became a residential hub for students of TUT, Unisa & UP. As time went on and economic challenges arose in the city and country at large, the area initially intended for short-term use and mid-term rentals became increasingly permanent. This came with challenges to the high-rise residential model in the area as this meant that internal courtyards in the area were rebuilt into parking lots for tenants. In later years, the area was subsumed by the crime and substance abuse it is well known for now. Many migrants from the Northern and Central parts of Africa were blamed exclusively for the unsafe and derelict conditions of the streets. Although illegal immigration as well as its social ills may be a factor contributing to this toxic social fabric. I, a former resident of Sunnyside, don’t think it accounts for all of it. I would like to argue that it may be the harsh and difficult political and social conditions visible at the regional scale that contribute to the area’s social instability. Furthermore, cold surfaces replacing the playgrounds and courtyard fields are creating a problem. Some parts of Sunnyside’s social fabric are being destroyed from the inside out, while others from the outside in. The way in which I will do this is by introducing a concept: urban levels which will act both as a design and research concept throughout the book. This concept will bring the ethos of multi-layered analysis into view in hopes to identify and execute a selected programme: A wellness centre in Sunnyside that is focused on psychosocial and physiological wellbeing of residents in Sunnyside.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional) to the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, School of Architecture and Planning, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2021