Architecture in Ruins

This dissertation investigates the relationship of the Fortifications in Pretoria to the public.

The architectural problem of making the public aware of these Fortifications is investigated and responded to by designing a Visitors centre, to draw the public to the Fort, by creating an experience of moving through the landscape. This experience orientates the visitor visually towards various other iconic monuments, by symbolically turning the visitor into a camera, capturing views and experiences for himself. The program also provides facilities for Archaeological research which will be done on various other Fortification ruins and archaeological sites in Pretoria. The visitors experience and interaction with the landscape and the vision of the Fort as artefact contributes to the visitors being made aware of the gradual deterioration of the Fortifications in the city to ruins.

The Fortifications themselves are monumental ruins, but by adding to them yet still respecting their heritage qualities, makes this a sensitive and respectful response to an important problem of how to preserve historical artefacts and at the same time utilising them. West Fort will become the catalyst for public awareness and experience to the other Fortifications within the city context.

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Author: Viljoen, Clayton

Article and Image Source: University of Pretoria

Keywords: Fortifications,Pretoria,South Africa,Heritage,Conservation


Viljoen, Clayton

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