PRIZES DUNCAN VILLAGE, EAST LONDON
D7763 - DEVELOPMENT THROUGH PARTNERS-IN-RHYME
GANDI MASEKO, MPHETI MOROJELE, MARTIN MZUMARA - JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 'DEVELOPMENT through Partners-in-Rhyme' interprets the brief well and is a convincing attempt to turn the Douglas Smit Highway into a meaningful urban space. This scheme's most positive feature is its recognition of the fact that the competition site must be seen primarily as an urban space and not simply as a road with programme on either side. The jury praised the intriguing structure given to the Douglas Smit Highway. It is not a road with facades on either side, but rather a linear space with buildings and squares situated between two roads. This creates a new integrating zone between the existing black and coloured communities which are at present separated by the highway. The proposed development establishes a neutral zone which can be shared by the two communities. The proposal also shows how this zone can be designed and implemented so as to become a seam that will integrate the community dynamics of the area. The creation of a sequence of spaces with well placed pieces of programme, and the edging of these with trading opportunities, is exemplary and could be replicated at other important nodes and points along the activity corridor of the Douglas Smit Highway. 'Development through Partners-in-Rhyme' recognizes the inherent traffic flows, both pedestrian and vehicular, without reinforcing the emphasis on the road as a traffic route only. However, the scheme does not meet the challenge of defining the area as a significant African space which can become the new heart of the township. There is insufficient understanding of the meaning of space as a broader structural system, nor does the scheme deal conceptually with the problem of integration on a macro-scale. Furthermore, the design has no concept of the evolution of the urban pattern. Had the proposal addressed these critical issues, it would certainly have received higher recognition. The jury suggested that the scheme be developed further under the following themes: . a more encompassing, explicit urban concept . integrating zones which can generate employment . a strategic plan with a process towards the future urban development of the whole area . well-defined access to new and old programme requirements . spatial quality and differentiated architectural development The pavilions, planes and spaces have a positive complexity. Unfortunately, however, the plan's architectural specifications leave a lot to be desired. At present, the scheme is too programmatic. Again, on this scale, there is no indication of phased development or change over time. However, functions such as hawkers and public space are used in an interesting way, and the design seems to work as a generator and integrator. The edges of the zone are skilfully handled and, if elaborated further, 'Development through Partners-in- Rhyme' could be implemented as an activity and social interface node. The scheme was awarded an honourable mention with the recommendation that it be developed further.