Next Project

Found City : Art and Reflection Gallery

Part 1 Project 2011
Wynand Viljoen
University of the Free State Bloemfontein South Africa
The project was titled “Found City” and stipulated that the student were to design an Art and Reflection Gallery in the city. Furthermore students were encouraged to challenge the idea of conventional structure while creating meaningful spaces in the city.

The site is located in a psychological border or “belt” in the city. This belt acts as the border between the CBD and the more affluent North Western suburbs. As with most African cities the CBD is currently in a state of disrepair with businesses migrating out of the CBD at an alarming rate.

The No Man’s Land idea as written by Lebbeus Woods inspired me to use space in the city that is currently seen as dead space. In the South African context air space isn’t seen as a valuable asset and this prompted me to activate the air space thus not only creating a whole new layer of urban fabric but also increasing the value of the buildings by now using the air space allocated to them.

The reason for the morphology of the structure is much deeper than might be anticipated at first. Firstly the floor plane of the structure is at a perfect horizontal level. This subconsciously lets you respect the topology of the site as the site falls away from the structure towards the South and towards it at the North up until the structure penetrates the topology and continues underground from there towards the underground observatory.

The fluid membrane again emphasizes the strong geometry of the surrounding buildings by creating negative space between the membrane and the buildings. Thus the city itself becomes the art experienced by the user, encouraging more people to walk this new space in the city instead of just driving through the city. Lastly the structure lies between two strong axii on the North (Obsevatory) and the South (Tall building and Theatre) and I believe that by connecting these axii with a meaningful and safe space, that this will merge the people of the city from all walks of life.

Wynand Viljoen


• Page Hits: 2582         • Entry Date: 09 September 2011         • Last Update: 09 September 2011