Weathering Architecture - a saline centre for research and creativity at the old salt river mouth

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The focus of this dissertation is on the ephemeral qualities in architecture, with an interest in the concept of weathering and the natural condition of the eroded Salt River estuarial landscape. The dissertation proposes a Saline Centre for research and creativity, combining the arts and sciences on a site of the confluence of the Old Salt River canal and Salt River power station. The chosen site, which holds the last visible traces of the Salt River estuary, is located on the periphery of both Cape Town and industrial Paarden Eiland. Although this site holds visible traces of the estuary, the water is formed by a man-made canal. The once flourishing and ecologically significant Salt River estuary has dissolved into industry as a result of the construction of the N1 highway among other forms of city development leaving it stagnant as a piece of infrastructure rather than landscape. The programme proposed is a combination of a saline crop research centre and multi-purpose event space, which are meshed together with overlapping programs such as a test kitchen, workshop-studio, salt harvesting roofscape and estuarine landscape. The salt-forming architecture, resurfacing the saline marsh landscape through erosion and the notion of temporal event is a return to the fluid and ephemeral. Both programme and form are transient and embody weathering by evolving and devolving. The Salt River power station water inlets as vessels for event and for producing knowledge for a sustainable future is a re-imagination and inversion of their purpose. Along with this , the combination of programme is to create a poetic relationship between the architecture and the site’s past, present and possible future.