Competition I: Un-Restricting Simon’s Town

With Evandro Schwalbach, John Edwards and Katlego Motene
The organization Architecture for Humanity launched a challenge in 2011,  extended into August 2012: [un]restricted accessto re-imagine new uses for de-comissioned military installations anywhere in the world, that would benefit neighboring communities with prescient socio-economic and environmental activities and/or facilities. We located our intervention in the seaside town of Simon’s Town, for centuries a key naval base for the successive colonial governments in the Cape, still active and largely limiting public access to the shore.
Perhaps typically for a South African entry, our proposal treated the town as a whole as site of intervention, with a focal civic node that connects mountain to sea and would bring back into the town previously displaced persons by the Apartheid racial segregation laws. As architects practicing in South Africa today, we are conscious of the need to address [correct?] the physical separation and consequent differential access and quality of life caused by Apartheid laws, reflected in segregated nodes, that are still largely disconnected from each other. However, we also long to create beautiful artifacts, and the combination between a thoughtful urban intervention (extending the railway line and urban square, re-connecting mountain to sea) and the creation of a memorial precinct was our attempt at a symbiotic result.
For our complete entry proposal, click here.

About Maria GC Aragão

Architect, part-time lecturer, external examiner. I am interested in spaces of collective memory, the visual arts and architecture’s potential to enable change. I practice at the intersection between meaning, aesthetics and commerce. As an external examiner I look to architecture as an act of translation

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