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uMkumbane Mixed Use

October 17, 2009 1 comment

Final presentation for my current design was yesterday, which means a little more sleep and a whole lot less stress for me.

Stoked!

I’ve got a couple of little changes to make before portfolio at the end of the year, but otherwise I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

The brief called for a Mixed Use building (residential/commercial/offices) in uMkumbane, Cato Manor, which is quite a poor area in Durban. The building was meant to act as something of an acupuncture into the area, a catalyst for further development of a positive urban environment.

It was generally quite a theoretical project, which was super rad! Some theory reports here and here.

And now for some pretty pictures..

roof

venders

cafe

res

back

night front

corner

Model built with ArchiCAD, Rendered with Artlantis Studio, and touched up with Adobe Light Room.

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RAD!

October 8, 2009 3 comments

Up till now I’ve been using Graphisoft Archicad for all my drawing and stuff, and for some reason I’ve always been super anti-Revit. I don’t know why really, suppose its just an aversion to things that are new and different..

But I saw a pretty insane Autodesk presentation the other day, and I’m seriously considering switching over.. Revit seems exponentially more powerful.. So I’m definately gonna give it a try, I just need time to learn the program..

So I’m probably going to try in the holidays in a month or so.

Also, Autodesk handed a pack of free student-version software, which I thought was just plain

RAD

I think I’m in love

October 6, 2009 3 comments

So I just found out Hayley Williams, from Paramore is only 20. I think I have a chance.

Hayley, if you’re reading this,

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I love you!

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Ok, enough silliness.. Back to work, Matt Costa and the growing of my beard.

P1000588

Congress Round Three

October 5, 2009 Leave a comment

So what more can I say..

Apart from the odd buss tour, most of our time was spent either in the most insane lectures, or partying, there was no in-between really..

One thing that really struck me though from the other universities is just how many pretty girls study architecture. I would never have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself, but its true! I think I need to move to PE/Cape Town/Pretoria!

Enough of that.

We had most of our lectures in this building:

Which is around a massive green quad on the Tuks main campus.

I would never have thought it, but Pretoria is actually a whole lot greener than Durban, and its not just the Jacaranda trees..

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The architecture building (Boukunde) is also super cool. A whole lot more inspiring than the mass of yellow brick work and cavernous dungeon lecture halls that is the Denis Shepston Building at Howard College.

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Mornings were a somber affair of hung over faces and what can only be described as warm chicory beverages.

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Nothing however, could prepare us for the final night: the Des Baker competition.

Held at Freedom Park, and sponsored by the very deep pockets of Murray & Roberts, this was one hell of an event! The competition is held every year and submissions are invited from the third year classes of each school. It’s one of the most prestigious student competitions of the year, and a matter of major rivalries. This year however, it would not be UCT, TUT, TUKS, UJ, NNMU or any of the other universities who took the prize, and as tention built, the winners were finaly anounced..

Michael Brunner and Helen Reeves of the University of KwaZulu Natal.

Hmmm.. Part two

October 3, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m really struggling to resolve some plans for Monday right now, so I’m procrastinating pretty badly. Hence a little bloggage.

I’m really starting to miss PTA now. I don’t know why. I suppose after spending a week in such a creative, fun, different environment with loads of awesome people, coming back to the same old deadline orientated, design production line that varsity seems to be right now just feels like Sinai.

I just want to feel like I’m doing something worth while.

I think about the kind of things the people who presented papers last week are doing: social housing in Accra, creative arts centers in Kinshasa, Urban Agriculture projects in Johannesburg and do-it-yourself development mixed use buildings in Amsterdam. Architects and anthropologists Heinrich Wolff, Dick Van Gameren, Joe Addo, Liz Ogbu, Hein de Haan, etc, etc, just blew my mind. This is what architecture has to contribute to society! Not green roofed mansions one on top of each other in Mount Edgecomb on Zimbali, or art galleries on Florida Road.

Or maybe I’m just in a bit of an idealistic mood right now.

Well here’s a taste of what I’m rambling on about. A Day Laborer Station presented to us by Liz Ogbu of Public Architecture, the first of these structure is to be build sometime in the new year. (More info here)

model1

Rendering3Exhibition4

The Day Labor Station, a project of Public Architecture, is a simple, flexible structure that can be deployed at these informal day labor locations. It is a sustainably-designed project that utilizes green materials and strategies and exists primarily, if not completely, off-the-grid. It provides a sheltered space for the day laborers to wait for work as well as greater community amenities and resources. Our design is a responsive one, addressing the needs and desires of the day laborers themselves, as our clients. As such, the structure will be flexible enough to serve in various capacities, including as a meeting space or classroom.

Design1Design2Design3

Pretty awesome really. Things like this really make me want to be an architect.. But right now I don’t know if I can be bothered. I think I just need a break. Maybe I’m just missing some people/someone.

Sigh.

On another note: I’ve been listening to the new Paramore album this week. Pretty awesome stuff actually. Give it a listen..

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Congress 2009

October 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Its been quite a while since I posted anything here.. I’ve been pretty busy lately, so I haven’t really had time for stuff like this.. But I thought I’d catch up a bit..

So Yeah.

Catching up

I thought I’d break this little hiatus with a quick post to share some photos from my trip to Pretoria last week.

What a rad week!

Basically, all the schools of architecture from around the country get together in the same city for a few days once a year. In the glorious name of architecture we attend guest lectures, meet new people, sleep in tents and party pretty hard! =P

This year was held in Pretoria, which I must admit, I was pretty surprised to discover is actually a REALLY beautiful city. I had always assumed it was pretty similar to Jo’burg, but its not at all. Definitely a place I’d love to visit again.

Road to PTA

We arrived a day early and explored Pretoria. I went out that night to a little restaurant/bar/club effort that I can’t remember the name of, and watched a couple bands play. Good start. The next day we did the typical tourist thing from a couple of really cool, low rider busses..

Busses

We drove around the city, and eventually stopped off at the union buildings which are so beautiful. I love being a tourist!

Union Building

Union Gardens

Their University is really pretty, kind of puts mine to shame.

Tuks

But more about that next time..

Window fail!

August 21, 2009 1 comment

A little while ago I wrote about the new developement around the Umhlanga Ridge New Town Centre area.. I quite like that building with the mansard roof, but after all the comments on that post I’ve kinda grown to see just how badly that building works.

And its not the only one around that area.

I noticed this the other day (or rather my mom did, when she was in the shop, and told me about it).

Crack Exterior

Its a bit hard to see from outside, but here’s a shot from inside..

Crack

Pretty savage right? The woman who runs the store told me that a guy from a glass fitters came in and had a look at it, and apparently the problem was that the glass pane had been installed and fixed simply with silicone, and they hadn’t put in anything to allow for expansion. She only moved into the building a couple of weeks ago and found that all the direct sunlight coming directly into the room through all the massive glazing made the space unbearably hot so, after being told she wasn’t allowed to but loovers up on the outside of the building (because of all the master planning guidlines) she simply put in huge blinds, screened the windows off and turned the aircon up. Recipe for dissaster? Huge pane of glass: baking hot sun on one side, icy cold on the other. Which is why this happened.

Crack 2

The building looks decent, and the units above must work, but clearly the shop fronts just don’t.

Crack fascade

Bleh.

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