Experiencing the wait: Civic Connector

Master Thesis


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This dissertation is based on the premise that experience is inherent to architecture and that we ought to build resolute in creating inhabited and traversed spaces. Thus, human experience and phenomenology are investigated with the aim of establishing an entry point into designing spaces which are socially resilient. The preliminary research, which is exploratory in nature, recognises phenomenology as a valuable tool in realising an engaging architecture; acting as a mediator between people and environment. The value of phenomenology emerges through its challenging of the design decisions made within architecture, based on how integral and effectively they contribute to the lived experience of a project. Designing around the human experience and scale arguably provides the architect with the best means with which to produce spaces with lasting public resonance. Motivated by the often-overlooked role that walking plays, as both a segment of public transport trips and travel mode, this dissertation aims to celebrate the act of walking and waiting as an addition to the experience of the ‘every-day. Cape Town Station, the point of arrival and departure, is integral to the story of most an urban dweller and everyday traveller, and thus provides a unique opportunity for the built form to bridge the various means of transport, while engaging with the vital role walking plays as part of the everyday journey. The provides the project the potential to contribute to the improvement of the current configuration of movement within the existing local movement network. Although architecture can be a catalyst for change, one must acknowledge that architecture alone cannot address all issues. These intentions are explored through the design of a civic connector which runs from Cape Town Station Taxi Rank, connecting to the Bus Terminal, before finally spilling out onto Grand Parade and into the CBD.