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Blog | Date: June 9, 2017

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Bild Architects in collaboration with Terra Ether Architects


Project Architects:

Naas du Plessis

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Welcome Centre

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Pretoria Institute for Architecture
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The new Welcome Centre is typologically designed as a lightweight transport interchange pavilion.

This building is a free-standing structure, separated physically and functionally from the mall and is only connected via the pedestrian link roof which serves as sole binding factor between the otherwise contrasting mass of the mall and the lightweight pavilion neighbouring each other on the same site.

The choice of materials and how the above requirements were to be implemented was   largely left to the discretion of the architect. The steel beams extending horizontally outwards from the main structure into the four compass directions represent the building as gathering node for passenger vehicles coming to-and from different directions and emblematically extends into infinity as to symbolise the perpetual flow of people and vehicles surrounding the centred static structure. The building is thus purposefully conceived as an object that allows itself momentarily to become a folly within its environment due to it being empty for extensive periods of time during the day when shuttle services are not frequenting its periphery.

The focus of the outcome was to realise a building modest in scale, albeit generously articulated, that would be aesthetically appropriate but varying from its surrounding structures. Every element, from the floor tiling pattern, ceiling detailing, precast concrete benches, joinery as well as the solar louvres and even the ‘art work wall’ being is custom designed primarily by the architect to fit in collectively as an ensemble. What makes this building significant from an architectural point of view is that it boasts several unique features such as the solar louvres and rain water outlets.
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