The FACTory: Unearthing the forgotten industry of Cape Town

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The FACTory is a research-based design project which explores the synergy between the material and the memory of a site of former industry. The setting for this scene is an abandoned concrete works in Salt River, Cape Town; which has been left to deteriorate. This dissertation proposes that, through a new architectural intervention, the concrete ruin can be assisted in telling its own story. This is a project in which the existing found object will uncover, narrate and reclaim its own industrial past, through its reprogramming, and will act as an urban catalyst within its otherwise stark context. Industrial Archaeology is the study of material evidence associated with the industrial past, and the heritage significance thereof. It is the documentation of the tangible and intangible. It is the reason a new construction method can have both material and memory value. It is a lesson that can be applied to architectural projects. Cape Town has a haphazard approach to the preservation of its industrial memory, and this project could identify a new approach in dealing with that. Through the introduction of a series of temporary spaces, The FACTory will reprogramme the site into a hub of educational leisure which unearths the industrial history of the site through haptic moments. In an area of the city which is almost certain to be regenerated in the not too distant future, this intervention will see itself as a single moment in the site's history.