Boipatong Heritage Project
Boipatong, South Africa
Project Proposal 2010

The Boipatong Memorial will celebrate the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. It will celebrate the path of reconciliation rather than violent conflict and the protection of human rights and freedom, especially the protection of rights of women and children. The Memorial will first and foremost commemorate and honour the people who were killed in the massacre as well as the broader community of Boipatong. It will provide a space for their stories to be told. It will deepen our understandings of the paths that led to our newfound democracy. It will encourage us to empathise with the perpetrators who turned Boipatong into killing fields by creating spaces for civic dialogue and debate. The memorial will become a place of healing, respite and contemplation in the midst of the still poor community of Boipatong.

The design response to the vision set out by TRACE is to provide a place of refuge, learning and celebration of human spirit over adversity. It will also attempt to be a place of upliftment in an context of increasing poverty.

The relatively simple programme of the buildings allowed us to explore a landscape model of spaces, that are all well connected and permeable. A series of courtyards link indoor and outdoor activities. The pavement around the buildings is interpreted as a social space as well as a receptacle for visitors before entering the building complex. Seating, trees and lighting animate the pavement and allows for human habitation.

Although this project has modest scale, it will contribute greatly in its context.

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