//hapo, the museum at the foot of The Freedom Park in Pretoria, was constructed during the second phase of the project and is the first point of arrival for the visitor. It is here that the visitor begins their walk along the Vhuwaelo, a contemplative journey which spirals up the hill, stringing together ‘garden’ spaces like beads on a necklace. //hapo is the first of these ‘gardens’, a landscape conceived as boulders and metamorphosed layers of rock that talk to the creation story.
Conceptually and programmatically, the landscape spaces are considered as extensions of the Boulders, and to this end, the red clay brick was selected as the primary material, opening up the possibilities for treating vertical and horizontal planes in a uniform manner, connecting the immediate landscape to the copper of the Boulders and the red soils of the hill. Rusted steel, timber, raw concrete finishes and low level lighting compliment and accentuate this palette, furthering the effects of the metaphor. Circulation routes, gathering spaces (covered and open-to-air), viewpoints and thresholds are cut into this ‘clay-like’ base, creating a series of ramps, terraces and enclaves, and in turn providing opportunity, in the cracks and crevices, for the vegetation of the hill to take root.