Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This dissertation is a case study in revealing value in mundane residual waste infrastructure and waste materials. Our perception of municipal solid waste and drop-off sites is that they are unsightly and non-special parts of our everyday lives. This is evident in their marginalization and seclusion from our urban, social, and natural environments. Alienated and shifted to the peripheries, our perceptions are unable to be challenged. The isolated spatial realities of these precincts reflect our societal ignorance, and the wasted materials our consumerist egos. The coastal town of Kleinmond in the Overstrand Municipality contains the Kleinmond Waste Drop-Off and Transfer Station (KWDTS), which also serves the neighbouring coastal towns of Rooi Els, Pringle Bay and Betty's Bay. The above-mentioned issues are accentuated by the stark contracts between the KWDTS and its neighbouring picturesque natural environment (Kogelberg Biosphere) and informal and formal residential communities. It is, therefore, a case study that is adapted to become a Re[source] centre that acts as an alchemist, who sees potential in these residual mundane spaces and materials and transforms it to become a valuable public resource. It demands re-imagination, as in true alchemic fashion. As stone can be transmuted into gold, the mundane can be transformed into the special. The proposed Re[Source] centre is envisioned to create new relationships with ·waste and its management, within and around the facility. Focused on urban, social, and environmental connections, a cross-programmed landscape is designed to include the flow of waste, the flow of people, and the flow of nature. The existing will be transformed and adapted through the use of three spatial strategies; openness, movement, and integration. Constantly in motion, the site will become a process in itself. As the spaces and architecture grows on a physical level, people will grow on a mental and socio-economic level.