Looking for leftovers: in search of a common thread between the forgotten and incompatible in Johannesburg

Gascoigne, Alexandra
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The main objective of this research report is to confront the ephemeral nature of architecture within a South African context. Questioning and gaining insight into the production of spaces that make use of the exiting fabric. Considering spaces, places and practices that are forgotten and need to be confronted. Using modern architecture as a platform to view forgotten spaces so to deal with the altering nature of modern structures and the autonomy that these spaces allow for. Providing people with a building that adapts and changes with time, through program and aesthetic. Johannesburg was formed through the discovery of gold and continues to grow and adapt throughout time as a reaction to the industry. With the industry came the racial divide that was not only social but physical. As we look at the city at this very point in time, the inception of the city is somewhat forgotten and the spaces that were prevalent in the creating of the city have too, been forgotten. This temporal nature of the industry in Johannesburg has created spaces that are left over. The selected site and existing structure, portrays the re-appropriation of forms and spaces for appropriate situations and goes on to address the use of incompatible programs within architecturally reduced provided spaces. The temporal nature of architecture spills into the identity of place and the nature of place-making and spatial control. Place is defined by people, their points of view and personal experiences. Exploring the tools within place-making through the lens of spatial agency and ultimately spatial control, as a way to confront and understand the networks and relationships that come about through individual perceptions of spaces. Addressing place as a culmination of aspects that are reliant on a multitude of personal experiences. Redefining the place model of David Canter to rather include and question place through assessing the community, the material and the element of time. Ultimately, providing a space through-which an injection of an incompatible combination of people and programs highlights the temporal nature of places and architecture. Re-imagining a process that ideally deals with sustainability in a multitude of ways and to consider time within the architectural realm as having more of a ephemeral effect
A design project submitted to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, School of Architecture and Planning, in partial fulfillment for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional) at the University of the Witwatersrand, 2021